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NVIDIA thinks Intel is scared of Atom

by Scott Bicheno on 18 February 2009, 18:49

Tags: Intel (NASDAQ:INTC), AMD (NYSE:AMD), NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA)

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Round three

On 23 January this year Intel announced a new job vacancy: Senior Licensing Attorney. Since then it has set about ensuring that new hire will be nice and busy, and probably joined by a few more.

The posting of the job advertisement actually coincided with the announcement by AMD that Intel had asked to meet to discuss whether the proposed spin-off of AMD's manufacturing operations violated the terms of the 2001 cross-license agreement between the two companies.

That move has now been approved by AMD shareholders and is expected to complete soon. However, the unresolved matter of Intel's query about whether the cross-license agreement applies to the new company threatens to cripple it before it's even formed.

As if that's not enough for Intel's growing legal team it was revealed today that it has filed suit against NVIDIA in dispute over the details of their cross-license agreement, signed in 2004.

In this filing Intel is alleging the agreement, which allows NVIDIA to produce chipsets for Intel CPUs, doesn't apply to processors that have integrated memory controller functionality.

This dispute has apparently been going on for a year now, and the two companies were attempting to settle it among themselves, but last Monday Intel decided to take it to the courts.