Published in Graphics

Intel’s Nvidia GPU license expires in March

by on07 February 2017


Industry veteran journalist Kyle Bennet wrote back in December that Intel might launch a CPU powered by Radeon technology. This happens in the middle of the last quarter when Nvidia and Intel's cross licensing GPU deal is about to expire. 

Just recently, Kyle said that there might be a CPU with Radeon coming this year but more important is that from April 1, Intel will not have a valid GPU license from Nvidia or AMD. None of the three companies spoke publicly about a possible GPU licensing deal and as far as Fudzilla is aware Nvidia hasn't reached a deal with Intel to extend the licensing.

As part of the original deal and the terms and conditions of the patent cross license agreement, Intel agreed to pay Nvidia licensing fees which in the aggregate will amount to $1.5 billion, payable in annual installments, as follows: a $300 million payment on each of January 18, 2011, January 13, 2012 and January 15, 2013 and a $200 million payment on each of January 15, 2014, 2015 and 2016.

The original document states that “Capture Period” shall mean any time on or prior to March 31, 2017 indicating that this is the last date where the license is still valid.

There are a few possible scenarios going forward and one very likely and that Fudzilla suggested a while ago, is that AMD will license its GPU technology to Intel and get some much-needed cash. Nvidia is always the more expensive choice. If you have been following Nvidia and AMD long enough you will recognize the pattern that both PlayStation and Xbox stayed away from Nvidia simply as AMD was the more affordable choice.  Good fellow Jen-Hsun Huang, the CEO of Nvidia is all about making more money, something that resulted in a  surge in the stock price.

AMD doesn’t want to talk about it. Fudzilla asked many contacts inside the company on and off the record, but no one seems to want to touch this touchy topic. Where there is smoke, there might be fire, one might imply.

The bottom line is that Intel needs a license or it faces a potential lawsuit. If it gets the GPU patent licensing from AMD, Nvidia would probably stay away from potential legal action.

Nvidia and AMD borrow GPU related ideas from each other left and right and center and we are quite sure that they don’t plan to sue each other for the GPU related patents anytime soon.

We would expect to see some announcements related to a potential AMD – Intel deal in the next few months. While many will argue that AMD is hardly going to benefit from it, making Intel a bigger competitor and losing the edge on the GPU performance lead, AMD would be making some additional cash, something that it desperately needs.

Last modified on 07 February 2017
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