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Patent infringement suits ramp up for the holiday season

In what appears to be a bit of a shocker in the industry, Silicon Graphics Inc. this week filed a patent infringement lawsuit against ATI Technologies Inc. Current details on the patent infringement is short but SGI is claiming that ATI infringed on SGI U.S. Patent No. 6,650,327, which covers some technical aspect of graphics processing. Details on what exactly the patent is about was also omitted.

Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI) is also seeking damages at an unspecified amount and an injunction, stopping ATI from developing and shipping graphics processors that infringe on SGI's patents. At this time, it's not clear what ATI has done, or if ATI will respond with its own lawsuit since both companies have been developing graphics technologies for quite a number of years.

"The Company's technology covered by the '327 patent is an important resource in achieving enhanced graphics processing demanded by today's computer systems," said Dennis McKenna, chief executive officer of Silicon Graphics. The company also indicated that whatever patent 327 was, it also licensed it for use with a number of ATI's competitors -- although the company did not indicate which companies were using the patent.

ATI itself recently completed the final stages of its merger with AMD. ATI shareholders approved of the merger in a recent meeting and both companies are now one. Neither AMD nor it's ATI division had anything to say about SGI's lawsuit.


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SGI?
By ixelion on 10/25/2006 12:40:51 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't SGI that company that tried to make dual GPU cards a year or two back but was not successful?




RE: SGI?
By s12033722 on 10/25/2006 12:45:38 PM , Rating: 3
Silicon Graphics is one of the true pioneers of the graphics industry. They were doing high end graphics way before Nvidia and ATI. Do you remember the film Lawnmower Man? The graphics in that film were done on SGI workstations and were groundbreaking for the time.


RE: SGI?
By ToeCutter on 10/25/2006 1:44:16 PM , Rating: 2
Are you referring to the 3Dfx-based Quantum3D hardware? I recall (vaguely) that SGI incorporated graphics from Quantum or Intergraph years ago. I'm certain that 3Dfx were formed by ex-SGI folks, though.

SGI is mere shadow of what they once were. I work in automotive engineering and the current crop of RISC-based workstations offered by HP, IBM, even Itanium2 blow away Tezro in just about every application.

The days of monolithic rendering are over. WETA used a 1000-node render farm running LINUX to render the stuff for LOTR. They did it in a fraction of the time it would have taken traditional (Read: proprietary) rendering nodes, at a fraction of the cost.

(But they store the rendered output on NetApp filers ;-)


RE: SGI?
By Spivonious on 10/25/2006 3:08:43 PM , Rating: 3
But did they transfer floating point values into a frame buffer?????


...one patent to sue them all.


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