In early September, Nvidia filed a suit alleging that Samsung and Qualcomm were infringing on its graphics patents. The firm went so far as to ask the U.S. International Trade Commission to block shipments of certain Samsung devices, and now, Nvidia is the one in the legal crosshairs. Samsung has filed a counter-suit claiming that both Nvidia and PC builder Velocity Micro infringe on numerous patents. The suit also accuses Nvidia of making false claims about the performance its Tegra K1 processor.
The full text of the Samsung suit is available here. Samsung alleges that Nvidia and Velocity Micro both infringe on the following patents:
- 5860158 — Cache control unit with a cache request transaction-oriented protocol
- 6262938 — Synchronous DRAM having posted CAS latency and method for controlling CAS latency
- 6287902 — Methods of forming etch inhibiting structures on field isolation regions
- 6804724 — Analog/digital display adapter and a computer system having the same
- 6819602 — Multimode data buffer and method for controlling propagation delay time
- 8252675 — Methods of forming CMOS transistors with high conductivity gate electrodes
Velocity Micro is accused of violating two additional patents, as well.
- 5777854 — For housing electronic devices
- 7073054 — Computer system and method for booting up the same
On top of all that, Samsung takes issue with Nvidia's assertion that the Tegra K1 in the Shield Tablet is the "world's fastest mobile processor." That statement is "false, defamatory, deceptive, and likely to confuse consumers," according to the suit, which claims that the Exynos 5433 SoC in Samsung's Galaxy Note 4
is the one true king outperforms the Nvidia chip in the Geekbench 3 benchmark. The Apple A8X SoC from the iPad Air 2 is purportedly faster than the Tegra K1 in that benchmark, too, though the suit doesn't appear to include any actual performance results.
Nvidia isn't ready to respond to the suit in full, but it has published a blog post taking issue with that false-advertising claim. Nvidia ran a range of tests on the Shield Tablet and Galaxy Note 4, and the Shield came out ahead in the vast majority, including Geekbench 3's multi-threaded test.
These comparative results come from Nvidia, so they should be taken with a grain of salt. We actually have an Exynos-based Galaxy Note 4 in-house for testing, though. Expect to see more on how that device stacks up against the Shield Tablet and other mobile devices soon.
We'll leave the patent wrangling to the lawyers.