Intel to pay Nvidia $1.5 billion in licensing fees

Posted on January 12, 2011

Mammoth chip-maker to pay GPU manufacturer in five annual installments; all legal matters between the two dropped.

Intel will gain access to Nvidia’s patents while paying the graphics chip supplier $1.5 billion in licensing fees as part of a new six-year agreement.

“For the future use of Nvidia’s technology, Intel will pay Nvidia an aggregate of $1.5 billion in licensing fees payable in five annual installments, beginning Jan. 18, 2011,” Nvidia announced today.

Furthermore, Nvidia and Intel have agreed to drop all outstanding legal disputes between them.

The crux of the agreement is that Intel gains access to all of Nvidia’s GPU (graphics processing unit) patents but Nvidia gains access to only certain Intel patents. To compensate for the lopsided patent access (which favors Intel), Intel pays Nvidia $1.5 billion.

Intel and Nvidia had both sued each other in early 2009 in a dispute that originally centered on a chipset license agreement. Intel had contended the cross license does not extend to Intel’s future-generation processors, and Nvidia countersued blocking access to its patent portfolio.

In effect, Nvidia was barred from building Intel-compatible chipsets beyond the Core 2 Duo generation of processors. For example, the second generation of Apple’s MacBook Air used an Nvidia chipset along with Intel’s Core 2 Duo processor. However, Nvidia could not build chipsets for the newest generation of Intel Core i3, i5, and i7 processors. This, in effect, forced Apple to stay with Intel’s older-generation Core 2 Duo processors in its newest MacBook Airs because it allowed Apple to legally continue to use Nvidia chipsets.

The agreement announced Monday still bars Nvidia from using any of Intel’s x86 technology and, as a result, Nvidia cannot build x86-compatible chipsets, according to Intel. But Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang made it clear he’s not interested. “We’ve already said many times that we have no intention to build chipsets for Intel processors,” he said in the conference call Monday afternoon. And many PC makers (including Apple) still use discrete (standalone) Nvidia graphics processing units (GPUs) that attach to Intel chipsets.

Huang expounded on its traditional strong suit GPUs–which hold patents that Intel is paying for and which Nvidia incorporates into its ARM processors. GPUs excel at parallel processing, whereas CPUs (central processing units)–such as Intel’s x86 chips–do sequential processing. Both types of processors have their merits, though GPUs have the potential to be much faster than CPUs at doing visual processing and scientific number-crunching, for example.

“I don’t think you can build a modern computer today without a state-of-the-art GPU technology. Anytime you can do something in parallel, it’s better than sequential,” Huang said.

“Our cross license 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 in an official statement today.

Huang went on to say the company’s focus is now on ARM processors–which compete with Intel’s x86 chips in small devices like Netbooks and tablets. “It’s a foregone conclusion that ARM is the most important [chip] architecture. ARM will be the largest installed-based processor. It’s pervasive and open. We will extend the ARM processor with our GPU,” he said.

Huang pointed to Microsoft’s announcement at CES to port its next major release of Windows to ARM processors and Nvidia’s CES announcement of Project Denver, in which it will design high-performance ARM chips for desktops and supercomputers. Those future Nvidia chips will be hybrids–much like Intel’s just-announced Sandy Bridge processor. “Project Denver…features an Nvidia CPU running the ARM instruction set, which will be fully integrated on the same chip as the Nvidia GPU,” Bill Dally, Nvidia’s chief scientist, said last week.

Read and Post Comments | Get the full article at GameSpot

Intel to pay Nvidia $1.5 billion in licensing fees” was posted by Brooke Crothers on Mon, 10 Jan 2011 17:33:08 -0800

The best of the PC at CES 2011

Posted on January 11, 2011

The Consumer Electronics Show 2011 has just wrapped up, showing off hundreds of hot new gadgets to the world. CES always provides a great insight into the technology of the future, and that includes the chips, processors and controllers we can expect to be using with our PCs later this year. Below you’ll find an overview of five of the most interesting bits of new tech shown at this year’s convention.

1. Razer Hydra motion controls and Portal 2

Razer have created their own precision motion controller for the PC. It’s called the Hydra, and like the Ninendo Wii controller, it consists of two handheld controllers linked by a cable, the movements of which can be recognised by a device that sits on your desktop and projects a six foot wide electromagnetic field. The controller will come bundled with a special copy of Portal 2 that will contain an extra level pack specifically designed to make use of the Hydra’s abilities. The controller allows the player to pick up, stretch and distort special blocks to solve the game’s puzzles. Here’s Progaming’s video showing one of the new Portal 2 levels being demoed with the Hydra.

2. Intel’s Sandy Bridge processor

It wasn’t just the Razer Hydra that featured Valve’s input at this year’s CES. Valve CEO Gabe Newell gave a presentation singing the praises of Intel’s new ‘Sandy Bridge’ processor. It’s a CPU with built in graphics card capabilities. At the moment it’s not powerful enough to make graphics cards redundant, but it’s an interesting glimpse of a possible future in which integrated graphics technology outshines separate GFX components. Newell says that Portal 2 has been specifically optimised to work with the Sandy Bridge technology.

3. PrimeSense Wavi Xtion motion sensor camera

PrimeSense are the company responsible for much of the depth sensing technology in Microsoft’s motion sensing Kinect peripheral for the Xbox 360. They’ve teamed up with ASUS to create the Wavi Xtion motion sensing camera, which has been designed for use with the PC. The device is due to be released in February along with the Xtion Pro Developer Kit, which should give Kinect hackers a more powerful alternative to the Microsoft camera. The twist to the Wavi Xtion is that it comes with a pair of boxes that wirelessly stream data between your PC and your TV, letting you play games on your TV powered by the hardware in your desktop computer.

4. Razer Switchblade

One of the best gadgets to be unveiled at CES 2011 was the prototype for Razer’s Switchblade notebook. It features a multi-touch screen and an adaptive keyboard that changes depending on the game or application you’re running. The Intel Atom processor within is powerful enough to run games, but flexible enough for multimedia activities like watching films or browsing the web. Check out the video below for an overview, or the official Razer site for more information.

5. Nvidia 3D monitor

Nvidia announced a new 3D PC monitor, the Lenovo L2363d. The 23 inch screen can display 3D images at 1920 x 1080 resolution and even comes with a built in, dual lens 3D camera that can capture 3D stills and film, and even allows for 3D video chat. Unfortunately, you’ll still need the special glasses to enjoy the 3D effect, and price details are yet to be announced.


Go to Source (PC Gamer)


GamesRadar guides: Black Ops Intel and cheats, Assassin's Creed Brotherhood guides (Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood)

Posted on December 06, 2010

December isn’t just physically cold, its game release schedule is pretty chilly as well. With the major studios having squeezed out most of their collective 2010 load, we’re left with only a few choice corn nuggets to remove from the brown. It’s a good thing October and November we’re so packed to the brim with good stuff that you can spend the rest of the year burning through the pile of early holiday presents you got yourself. So enjoy even more guides for Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, Call of Duty: Black Ops and Fallout: New Vegas. I’ve linked to each game’s cheats and hints page as well, where you can find a plethora of user generated help like FAQs, easter eggs and much more.


Go to Source (Games Radar)

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