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Cellphones The Courts

NVIDIA Sues Qualcomm and Samsung Seeking To Ban Import of Samsung Phones 110

Calibax writes NVIDIA has filed complaints against Samsung and Qualcomm at the ITC and in the U.S. District court in Delaware. The suit alleges that the companies are both infringing NVIDIA GPU patents covering technology including programmable shading, unified shaders and multithreaded parallel processing. NVIDIA is seeking damages and a ban on U.S. import of a number of devices with Snapdragon and Exynos processors until there is an agreement on licensing.
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NVIDIA Sues Qualcomm and Samsung Seeking To Ban Import of Samsung Phones

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Sue the competition!

  • O when Am I going to get my free software phone with free software cellular network :(
    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Arker ( 91948 )
      Unfortunately that is blocked indefinitely by the failure of the court system to understand that software is math. I used to expect the next generation of judges at least would get it, but seeing a whole new generation coming out that is even less technically savvy than their predecessors kind of dashes that hope.
      • by qbast ( 1265706 )
        Ah yes, and every material invention is just application of physics.
      • Which do you not understand? Software or math?
      • Software is math but you could also say the same about anything that was ever invented. At the end of the day everything is math.

        One of my observations over years of watching and listening to software patent trolling is that nobody makes the difference between actual research and the coding. Coding is coding and implementing an existing concept to another existing concept is just more coding UNLESS research is required to achieve the final objective. The key here is that there should be an amount of researc

  • Switching to AMD (Score:5, Informative)

    by StormReaver ( 59959 ) on Friday September 05, 2014 @08:31AM (#47833547)

    Thankfully, the Open Source AMD video driver has progressed enough to use it for normal computing. I've been using it on cards I already had laying around, and it performs very well for daily use. It performs much better than Nouveau (which isn't surprising, since AMD released full specifications, and nVidia requires complete clean-room reverse engineering), and integrates into a Linux desktop cleaner than the nVidia proprietary driver (nVidia destroys the boot display, for example).

    Now I have enough motivation to no longer use nVidia. Thank you, nVidia, for helping AMD gain some ground.

    • Well said. I feel dirty now that I had to buy an Nvidia GPU recently because the software package I use only supports CUDA acceleration :(
    • Re:Switching to AMD (Score:5, Informative)

      by jones_supa ( 887896 ) on Friday September 05, 2014 @09:08AM (#47833751)
      Rather surprisingly, I have also been quite happy with the developments of the open source Radeon driver under Linux. Works great and the performance is excellent.
    • +5 Informative???

      We're talking about mobile device SoCs here, where AMD don't even compete.

    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Qualcomm's GPU core, Adreno, is actually something Qualcomm purchased from ATi/AMD when they spun off their mobile division. Long ago ATi was doing mobile GPUs before NVidia and Intel were doing them (and before they became commonplace when graphics were still mostly software driven).

      Anyhow, I suppose NVidia was in trouble - they had a popular SoC and their subsequent ones have failed to capitalize on it (remember when practically all Android tablets had NVidia Tegra 2 and Tegra 3 SoCs?).

  • by edxwelch ( 600979 ) on Friday September 05, 2014 @08:35AM (#47833567)

    Previously, Nvidia said [nvidia.com] that it would license it's Kepler GPU cores to third parties. Semiaccurate maintains [semiaccurate.com] that this licensing program was in fact bogus and was conceived purely to justify future patent trolling activities. Semiaccurate also claims that
    Nvidia tried to "shakedown" Apple with the same patents and Apple subsequently gave the contract for the Mac Pro GPU to AMD as punishment.

  • Is nvidia using patents on commonplace patents to get a piece of the pie they are jealous the don't have. Or are these legitimate patents and said companies are willfully stealing technology?
    Keep in mind my next purchases for video cards and cell phones will depend on the answer..

    • Re:So.. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by aNonnyMouseCowered ( 2693969 ) on Friday September 05, 2014 @09:37AM (#47833937)

      I don't know if the patents legitimate or not. They could be legitimate (ie approved by some patent office and not yet invalidated by a court) and still be bad patents. But a high-profile IT company that starts filing patent law suits can only mean one thing, the company has peaked and is on its way down. So maybe you should start looking for your graphic card and cellphones elsewhere? (AMD suing Intel is a different thing, since it concerns Intel's supposed monopolistic business practices.)

      • " But a high-profile IT company that starts filing patent law suits can only mean one thing, the company has peaked and is on its way down. "

        Actually there is another thing it could mean. It could mean somebody is violating their patents. Had that possibility not occured to you?

  • by flowerp ( 512865 ) on Friday September 05, 2014 @09:12AM (#47833771)

    nVidia holds a lot of patents in the fields of graphics technology - it is a major player in this field and to date has a large market share in the desktop amd mobile GPU market. This is absolutely no patent trolling.

    It's just the usual insane patent wars among major players in technology. I highly doubt this will go to court. There will just be a quiet agreement among the parties involved before this escalates too much.

    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      The fact that it isn't a pure Troll doesn't mean it isn't trollling. We can neither accept these at face value nor dismiss them out of hand. It's something that actually requires a little thought and analysis.

      Certainly the "moron on the street" standard should not apply here.

      • " It's something that actually requires a little thought and analysis."

        No. It doesn't require any thought actually. The problem with your statement stems from your lack of understanding of the term "Patent Troll [wikipedia.org]."

  • It's common knowledge that nvidia is having a hard time of things. They cancelled their server chip and their mobile devices are going nowhere. Discrete graphics cards aren't the market they used to be; and certainly not a growth industry. Maybe they're trying to get bought by Qualcomm or Samsung... there aren't many companies that are big enough to be able to absorb them and have it make any kind of sense. I wouldn't be surprised to see them sue Intel also.

    Suing the companies that might be able to buy y

    • by Nemyst ( 1383049 )
      You mean aside from the fact Intel has patent agreements with Nvidia? It's pretty clear to me that Nvidia's trying very hard to increase their share in the mobile market and one way to do it is to get some cash from competitors through licensing agreements. Or maybe they want some of Qualcomm's patents for their own products?

      As per usual, /. ignores AnandTech's [anandtech.com] excellent overview of the situation.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Henry Gouraud invented computer graphics shading 70's
    1. Pixar Renderman 1988 Shading rendering, Programmable Shaders using cpu
    2. Unified Shader by ATI :https://www.google.com/patents/US8760454
    3. multithreaded parallel processing By INTEL http://www.google.ca/patents/USRE41849
    4. Programmable Shaders Nvidia http://www.google.com/patents/US6664963 This one is questionable since it was done in software before gpu's

    All these things were conceptualized in the 60's, 70's, 80's.

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."