Nvidia Suspends Chipset Development For Intel - InformationWeek

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Nvidia Suspends Chipset Development For Intel

Nvidia will suspend development of chipsets for Intel processors, as a casualty of a licensing dispute between the two companies.

Nvidia on Thursday said it will suspend development of chipsets for Intel's latest and future microprocessors, saying it's impossible to market the products in light of a licensing squabble between the two companies.

Nvidia is battling Intel in a Delaware court over whether Nvidia's current license covers the new communications technology used in Intel's latest processors based on the Nehalem microarchitecture. The technology, known by the acronym DMI, is implemented directly in the processor; Intel plans to use it in future chips.

Nvidia says Intel is improperly claiming to its customers and the market that Nvidia isn't licensed to the new DMI bus, according to a statement sent by e-mail to InformationWeek. For that reason, "it is effectively impossible for us to market chipsets for future CPUs," the company said. "So, until we resolve this matter in court next year, we'll postpone further chipset investments for Intel DMI CPUs."

Chipsets are used to connect a computer's main CPU to other parts of the system.

Intel declined comment on Nvidia's action. "On their decision we have nothing to say," spokesman Chuck Mulloy told InformationWeek in an e-mail response to a query. "It's their decision."

Intel insists that it asked the court to rule on the 2004 licensing agreement only after it became clear that the two sides could not find a solution to the two-year-old dispute. Intel is not seeking any damages and the court will likely hear the case next year.

Nvidia in March countersued Intel in the same Delaware court, accusing Intel of breach of contract. Nvidia, which makes chips for processing graphics and video on a PC, also seeks termination of Intel's license to Nvidia's patent portfolio, including its 3-D and GPU technologies.

Intel has been boosting the graphics capabilities in its chipsets for a while, encroaching on Nvidia's market in PCs, which have become increasingly focused on video, music, and other forms of entertainment. Nvidia, on the other hand, is trying to replace Intel chipsets.


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