Menu
Nvidia sues Samsung and Qualcomm, wants Galaxy sales blocked

Nvidia sues Samsung and Qualcomm, wants Galaxy sales blocked

Nvidia says seven of its GPU patents were infringed, opening a new front in the patent wars

Nvidia has sued Samsung and Qualcomm for allegedly infringing seven of its patents related to GPUs, and is trying to block the sale of some Samsung products in the U.S.

The lawsuits open a new and unexpected front in the smartphone patent wars, which have already led to numerous court battles. In a blog post Thursday, Nvidia called it an "important day" for the company and said they are the first patent lawsuits it has initiated in its 21-year history.

Nvidia filed the complaints with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and at the U.S. District Court in Delaware. It has asked the ITC to block shipments of Galaxy phones and tablets that contain Qualcomm's Adreno, ARM's Mali and Imagination's PowerVR graphics architectures.

It has also asked the Delaware court to award it unspecified monetary damages.

"Without licensing Nvidia's patented GPU technology, Samsung and Qualcomm have chosen to deploy our IP without proper compensation to us," Nvidia said in the blog post.

Samsung declined to comment on the lawsuits, said spokeswoman Lauren Restuccia, and Qualcomm did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

"Instead of developing its own graphics processing technology, Samsung purchases and uses Qualcomm's infringing processors and GPUs, as well as other processors and GPUs that infringe the claims of the asserted patents," Nvidia said in its Delaware complaint.

Nvidia said it tried to negotiate a license for its patents with Samsung, and that Samsung "repeatedly said that this was mostly their suppliers' problem."

The GPU maker claims seven of its patents have been infringed.

"Those patents include our foundational invention, the GPU, which puts onto a single chip all the functions necessary to process graphics and light up screens; our invention of programmable shading, which allows non-experts to program sophisticated graphics; our invention of unified shaders, which allow every processing unit in the GPU to be used for different purposes; and our invention of multithreaded parallel processing in GPUs, which enables processing to occur concurrently on separate threads while accessing the same memory and other resources."

In the ITU complaint, Nvidia says the accused Samsung products use processors that incorporate three GPU architectures -- Qualcomm's Adreno, ARM's Mali and Imagination's PowerVR.

"Adreno GPUs are used in Qualcomm's processors and chipsets. Other processors and chipsets used in Samsung's accused products, including Samsung's Exynos processors, use Mali GPUs or PowerVR GPUs," Nvidia says in its complaint.

"Products using any one of these three types of GPUs infringe the asserted patents," it says.

ARM and Imagination are not named as defendants in the lawsuits.

James Niccolai covers data centers and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow James on Twitter at @jniccolai. James's e-mail address is james_niccolai@idg.com

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags intellectual propertySamsung ElectronicspatentCivil lawsuitslegalqualcommnvidiaComponentsprocessorsGraphics boards

Slideshows

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016

Reseller News looks back on a tumultuous 12 months for the New Zealand channel, assessing the fallout from a year of sizeable industry change. Whether it be local or global mergers and acquisitions, distribution deals or job changes, the channel that started the year differs somewhat to the one set to finish it - Reseller News assesses the key moments that made 2016.​

Top 50 defining moments of the New Zealand channel in 2016
​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel

Hewlett Packard Enterprise honoured its top performing Kiwi partners at the second running of its HPE Partner Awards in New Zealand, held at a glitzy ceremony in Auckland. Recognising excellence across eight categories - from distributors to resellers - the tech giant celebrated its first year as a standalone company, following its official split from HP in 2015.

​Hewlett Packard Enterprise honours high achieving NZ channel
Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise

Nutanix recently took to the seas for a Christmas Cruise around Sydney Harbour with its Australia and New Zealand staff, customers and partners to celebrate a stellar year for the vendor. With the sun out, they were all smiles and mingled over drinks and food.

Nutanix treats channel partners to Christmas cruise
Show Comments