Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2007/07/31/sony_cell_patent/

Sony faces case for 'Cell' patent infringement

Tough times ahead?

By James Sherwood

Posted in Games, 31st July 2007 16:30 GMT

Updated Sony could be in some hot water over development of the parallel processing Cell CPU, used in several devices including the PS3. A US company is claiming that Sony has infringed on a patent for "synchronized parallel processing with shared memory" and is seeking retribution through the courts.

The Parallel Processing Corporation, which filed the lawsuit against Sony in the Tyler Division of the Eastern District of Texas earlier this month, claims that a patent for the technology was approved on 8 October 1991. Despite the patent being originally granted to International Parallel Machines in Massachusetts, the Parallel Processing Corporation has described itself as the “exclusive licensee” for it.

Apparently the claimant Parallel is being caused “irreparable harm and monetary damage" by the potential patent infringement, so is seeking financial damages and the destruction of all Sony’s products that infringe on the patent.

For the time being, Sony is keeping its mouth shut about the case and has already told one online source that it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

Sony is no stranger to such complaints though. It has already faced legal action from a Californian company, which claimed that the Japanese electronics giant had infringed on its patent for the use of Blu-ray technology in the PlayStation 3 games console.

Supplemental

Sony will exhibit a prototype of its Cell Computing Board in the US next week. It said the board, which will be unveiled at the annual Special Interest Group for Computer Graphics event in California, incorporates the high performance Cell Broadband Engine microprocessor and RSX graphics processor.

Sony claims the board is capable of handling large amounts of data at high speed, while also achieving reductions in size and energy consumption. The company didn’t say anything about which specific hardware the board could be integrated into, but did state that it is suitable for scientific and graphical markets where massive data quantities are processed.