Intel and Nvidia hug it out, announce new cross-licensing deal


— 4:33 PM on January 10, 2011

After firing lawsuits back and forth, Intel and Nvidia appear to have buried the hatchet. The two have put an end to all outstanding legal disputes between them and entered a new long-term cross licensing deal. Here's a snippet from the official press release:

"This agreement ends the legal dispute between the companies, preserves patent peace and provides protections that allow for continued freedom in product design," said Doug Melamed, Intel senior vice president and general counsel. "It also enables the companies to focus their efforts on innovation and the development of new, innovative products."

Under the transaction, Intel receives a license to NVIDIA's patents subject to the terms of the agreement. NVIDIA receives a license to Intel's patents subject to the terms of the agreement, including that x86 and certain other products are not licensed to NVIDIA under the agreement. Intel and NVIDIA have also exchanged broad releases for all legal claims, including any claims of breach of their previous license agreement.

Note that this cross-licensing agreement does not include an x86 license. ARM is still Nvidia's CPU strategy, it would seem.

As a part of the deal, Intel has agreed to pay Nvidia a cool $1.5 billion over the next five years. That represents nearly two quarters worth of revenue for Nvidia, which now appears to have the option of reviving its chipset division. Given how slowly Intel has been to adopt new technologies like PCI Express 2.0, Serial ATA 6Gbps, and USB 3.0, a little competition in the core-logic department certainly couldn't hurt.

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