Intel and NVIDIA settle legal battle

11 Jan 2011

Intel has entered a long-term patent cross-licence agreement with NVIDIA, resolving all legal disputes between the two companies.

Intel will pay NVIDIA $1.5bn over the next six years and Intel will have a licence to access NVIDIA’s patent subjects.

The deal excludes Intel x86 designs and areas such as Flash memory.

“This agreement signals a new era for NVIDIA,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, NVIDIA’s president and chief executive officer in a statement.

“Our cross licence with Intel reflects the substantial value of our visual and parallel computing technologies.

“It also underscores the importance of our inventions to the future of personal computing, as well as the expanding markets for mobile and cloud computing,” said Huang.

As a result of the agreement, NVIDIA will not be making an Intel-compatible chipset.

This deal ends the legal battle between the two companies. Intel originally sued NVIDIA in February 2009, preventing it from developing compatible chipsets for next-gen Intel processors.

NVIDIA countersued, saying this was an attempt to eliminate NVIDIA as a competitor.

The agreement will make a huge impact of the PC industry. The dispute had affected hardware companies, including Apple, which was forced to develop its own proprietary graphics solution to switch between the NVIDIA GPU and the older Intel processor on its computers.

Intel recently revealed Sandy Bridge, its next-generation processor at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.