Semiconductors and Components

Nvidia Files Suit Against Samsung, Qualcomm

04 September 2014

Graphics semiconductor firm Nvidia Corp. has filed a patent infringement complaint against Samsung and Qualcomm alleging Samsung’s smartphones and tablets violate Nvidia patents stemming from its GPU technology.

The suit, filed with the International Trade Commission and in the U.S. District Court in Delaware, claim that both Samsung and Qualcomm infringed upon Nvidia patents pertaining too programmable shading, unified shaders and multithreaded parallel processing. Nvidia named the following products in the complaint: the Galaxy Note Edge, Galaxy Note 4, Galaxy S5, Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy S4 mobile phones; and the Galaxy Tab S, Galaxy Note Pro and Galaxy Tab 2 computer tablets.

In a blog post on Nvidia’s website, David Shannon, executive vice president, chief administrative officer and secretary at Nvidia, said that the company's licensing team negotiated directly with Samsung on a parent portfolio license and had several meetings where the company detailed how its patents apply to all of Samsung’s mobile devices and the graphics architectures it uses.

"We made no progress,” Shannon wrote. “Samsung repeatedly said that this was mostly their suppliers’ problem.”

Shannon added, “Without licensing Nvidia's patented GPU technology, Samsung and Qualcomm have chosen to deploy our IP without proper compensation to us. This is inconsistent with our strategy to earn an appropriate return on our investment.”

Most of the devices in the suit incorporate Qualcomm’s mobile processors such as the Snapdragon S4, 400, 600, 800, 801 and 805, according to Nvidia. The other devices are powered by Samsung’s Exynos mobile chips that include ARM’s Mali and Imagination Technologies’ PowerVR GPU cores.

Shannon said that there are seven patents that pertain to the complaint and is asking the ITC to block shipments of Samsung Galaxy mobile phones and tablets containing the chips from Qualcomm, ARM and Imagination. Nvidia is also asking for damages in an undisclosed sum for the infringement of the patents.

Related links:

News articles:

Infineon, Philips, Samsung Fined Millions by EU

Samsung Seeks Differentiation with Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge

Samsung’s SmartThings Acquisition: A Sign of Things to Come?

Intel Recruits Qualcomm Exec to Help With Mobile

Freescale Launches Wireless Charging Chips to Qi Spec

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