Intel and NVIDIA have had agreements in place that allow NVIDIA to build chipsets that support Intel processors. The two firms recently began licensing NVIDIA technology for use on Intel motherboards as well.
Today reports are coming in that Intel has filed a suit against NVIDIA alleging that the licensing agreement in effect does not allow NVIDIA to build chipsets for Intel processors with integrated memory controllers -- including the Nehalem CPUs.
According to Bit-Tech, Intel issued a statement saying, "Intel has filed suit against NVIDIA seeking a declaratory judgment over rights associated with two agreements between the companies. The suit seeks to have the court declare that NVIDIA is not licensed to produce chipsets that are compatible with any Intel processor that has integrated memory controller functionality, such as Intel’s Nehalem microprocessors and that NVIDIA has breached the agreement with Intel by falsely claiming that it is licensed. Intel has been in discussions with NVIDIA for more than a year attempting to resolve the matter but unfortunately we were unsuccessful. As a result Intel is asking the court to resolve this dispute."
NVIDIA feels confident that its license agreement does in fact allow it to build chipsets for Intel processors with integrated memory controllers. So confident in fact that according to NVIDIA it will not change its roadmap and will continue development of chipsets for the Intel processors in question and for future Intel processors.
NVIDIA points out that this license disagreement does not affect any of its currently shipping products and the graphics giant doesn't expect any impact to its current business regardless of the outcome.
NVIDIA has released an official statement saying, "NVIDIA believes that our bus license with Intel clearly enables us to build chipsets for Intel CPUs with integrated memory controllers. We are aggressively developing new products for Intel’s current front side bus (MCP79 and MCP89) and for Intel’s future bus, DMI."
NVIDIA maintains that the suit is nothing but an attempt by Intel to slow the adoption of NVIDIA platforms and protect a decaying CPU business where the CPU has become much less relevant compared to the GPU inside a PC.