Story 2014-09-06 2S41 The patent wars rage on: Nvidia sues Qualcomm and Samsung over their patent of 'the gpu'

The patent wars rage on: Nvidia sues Qualcomm and Samsung over their patent of 'the gpu'

in legal on (#2S41)
story imageNvidia has sued two major technology corporations, Qualcomm and Samsung, claiming it has a 13 year old patent over the GPU itself. John Hruska of Extreme Tech comments.
There are two reasons why this case sticks out. First, Nvidia, is suing Samsung — a company which does not build its own graphics IP and merely licenses the work of others, including Qualcomm’s Adreno, ARM’s Mali, and Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR. Nvidia’s blog post claims that Samsung dismissed these issues as a “supplier problem,” ignoring the fact that from Samsung’s perspective, that’s exactly what this is.

Second, while it’s true that this is Nvidia’s first patent lawsuit against another company, many of the patents the company is asserting go right back to the beginning of the GPU era. Nvidia is accusing Samsung and Qualcomm, for example, of violating its patent on transform and lighting engines — a patent that dates back to the early days of 3D accelerated games, some 13 years ago. Most of the other patents are nearly as old, and cover equally fundamental aspects of modern GPU programming.
Reply 3 comments

Clearly targeted (Score: 1)

by on 2014-09-08 12:05 (#2S58)

It's directed at these two companies simply because they have competing mobile GPUs: Snapdragon(Adreno), and Exynos. I'd never heard of Exynos, but I think the Snapdragon was gaining ground. The first Nexus 7 had Tegra, while the second had Snapdragon.

From :
Adreno, the company's proprietary GPU series, integrated into Snapdragon chips (and certain other Qualcomm chips) is Qualcomm's own design, using assets the company acquired from AMD.[5]
Why are they not going up against AMD/ATI? Surely they have infringed on the GPU patent much more since they have been around longer if the allegations are true.

Re: Clearly targeted (Score: 0)

by Anonymous Coward on 2014-09-09 04:52 (#2S6A)

The general litigation strategy is: You go after the small ones first. They have less resources to defend themselves, and then you've created a precedent which can be used against the big guys.

Of course it could also be that ATI has some patents they could use to counter-sue.

Prior art? (Score: 1)

by on 2014-09-08 17:58 (#2S5P)

How much of this early-days graphics stuff was actually nVidia's innovation? Could these patents be struck down on the grounds of Carmack did it first?