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Intel and Nvidia take licensing kerfuffle to court

Huang claims PC's soul

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A continuing dispute between Intel and Nvidia over the scope of a 2004 cross-licensing pact has, rather unsurprisingly, made its way to court.

Chipzilla filed a motion in Delaware court on Monday asking for a judge to bar Nvidia from making chipsets compatible with Intel's Nehalem-based processors.

Nehalem introduces an integrated memory controller and a new bus technology called QuickPath Interconnect (QPI). If Nvidia wants its nForce motherboards to support Nehalem chips, it needs to license QPI technology.

The graphics chip maker claims it already has the right to make Nehalem-compatible boards through a four-and-a-half year old cross licensing deal with Intel.

Intel claims the agreement doesn't cover new bus technologies, while Nvidia claims the agreement doesn't limit the licensing to specific products.

The court action prompted Nvidia's outspoken CEO Jen-Hsun Huang to send out a response today, declaring the company was confident the licensing agreement covers their ass. And of course, since this is a Huang statement, it's also 65 per cent rant:

"We are confident that our license, as negotiated, applies," Huang said in the statement. "At the heart of this issue is that the CPU has run its course and the soul of the PC is shifting quickly to the GPU. This is clearly an attempt to stifle innovation to protect a decaying CPU business."

Definitely sounds like the companies are becoming increasingly bitter as the dispute goes on. ®

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