Nvidia interested in licensing graphics technology to other chip makers

By on June 19, 2013, 8:45 AM
intel, qualcomm, nvidia, gpu, tegra, graphics, cpu, kepler

With a playbook consisting of over 5,500 patents, chip-maker Nvidia has shown interest in licensing some of their GPU technologies, most notably the Kepler architecture. According to Reuters, the licensing strategy will help the California-based company to capitalize on the growing mobile market, and possibly build valuable relationships with industry leaders such as Apple and Samsung.

Despite Nvidia’s expertise in graphics processors, they face stiff competition from Qualcomm and ARM Holdings in the mobile space, while Intel still leads the market when it comes to processors slated for desktop PCs due to their integrated offerings. Consequently, Nvidia’s best shot is to target smartphone manufacturers who want the best in graphics technology, but insist on home-growing their chips.

Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia’s president and CEO, explained, "This is a way for us to engage customers who don't like to buy chips because they like to create their own, because they have the capacity, creativity and now the scale to build their own."

Although Nvidia isn’t known for their licensing background, this isn’t their first foray into the business either. The company received a lucrative licensing deal for a GPU core that found its way into the Sony Playstation 3. Nvidia also struck a cross-licensing agreement with Intel that will reportedly pay them $1.5 billion over a six year period. That being said, Huang’s formal announcement indicates that their licensing efforts will be ratcheted up, and could eventually become the corporation’s primary source of revenue.

Interestingly, Nvidia will be incorporating LTE connectivity into their new Tegra chips, which will also be built using the soon-to-be licensed Kepler architecture. This means that the company will, in many ways, be competing with itself.

It is currently unknown how Nvidia’s licensing strategy will pan out, but several industry analysts believe it to be the right move. "This is a maturation in their mobility play," added Pat Moorhead, an analyst at Moor Insights and Strategy. "It widens the aperture for them because now they can look at Samsung and Apple, and HTC, and basically everyone who doesn't use Qualcomm."




User Comments: 10

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Dukenukemx Dukenukemx said:

But will they release open source drivers? Mali graphics are their biggest competitor and they offer open source drivers. Ain't bad in performance either.

Guest said:

I think this is a bad decision for nVidia in the long run. It shows they don't care about their leading edge over the competition and would sell it off for capital instead. They simply look money hungry. And while money for business is good, it can drive a mad company into the ground.

Guest said:

Its not like nvidia to go after the money.......

1 person liked this | MilwaukeeMike said:

I think this is a bad decision for nVidia in the long run. It shows they don't care about their leading edge over the competition and would sell it off for capital instead. They simply look money hungry. And while money for business is good, it can drive a mad company into the ground.

Perhaps it's only a short term decision. I don't know a lot about the industry, but look at a couple recent trends.... both Intel's and AMD's latest CPUs have integrated graphics that take a slice out of the bottom of the PC market, and the PC market is shrinking overall. If I remember right, AMD units will be in both the PS4 and XB1. They need to expand into different areas and mobile is the up and coming place to do that. However, in the mobile space they're a bit behind. Licensing any technology they do have can buy them some time until they can come out with something to better compete with Qualcomm's chips. I could be completely wrong about this, but wasn't (isn't) Tegra a little power hungry and didn't have quite the performance of a Snapdragon? Maybe someone with better knowledge can chime in... DBV, you around?

2 people like this | Dukenukemx Dukenukemx said:

Showoffs.

But will they release open source drivers? Mali graphics are their biggest competitor and they offer open source drivers. Ain't bad in performance either.

I think this is a bad decision for nVidia in the long run. It shows they don't care about their leading edge over the competition and would sell it off for capital instead. They simply look money hungry. And while money for business is good, it can drive a mad company into the ground.

Its not like nvidia to go after the money.......

I think this is a bad decision for nVidia in the long run. It shows they don't care about their leading edge over the competition and would sell it off for capital instead. They simply look money hungry. And while money for business is good, it can drive a mad company into the ground.

Perhaps it's only a short term decision. I don't know a lot about the industry, but look at a couple recent trends.... both Intel's and AMD's latest CPUs have integrated graphics that take a slice out of the bottom of the PC market, and the PC market is shrinking overall. If I remember right, AMD units will be in both the PS4 and XB1. They need to expand into different areas and mobile is the up and coming place to do that. However, in the mobile space they're a bit behind. Licensing any technology they do have can buy them some time until they can come out with something to better compete with Qualcomm's chips. I could be completely wrong about this, but wasn't (isn't) Tegra a little power hungry and didn't have quite the performance of a Snapdragon? Maybe someone with better knowledge can chime in... DBV, you around?

I think this is a bad decision for nVidia in the long run. It shows they don't care about their leading edge over the competition and would sell it off for capital instead. They simply look money hungry. And while money for business is good, it can drive a mad company into the ground.

Perhaps it's only a short term decision. I don't know a lot about the industry, but look at a couple recent trends.... both Intel's and AMD's latest CPUs have integrated graphics that take a slice out of the bottom of the PC market, and the PC market is shrinking overall. If I remember right, AMD units will be in both the PS4 and XB1. They need to expand into different areas and mobile is the up and coming place to do that. However, in the mobile space they're a bit behind. Licensing any technology they do have can buy them some time until they can come out with something to better compete with Qualcomm's chips. I could be completely wrong about this, but wasn't (isn't) Tegra a little power hungry and didn't have quite the performance of a Snapdragon? Maybe someone with better knowledge can chime in... DBV, you around?

PC market isn't shrinking, but it's becoming hostile towards Nvidia. With AMD's integrated graphics and Intel working on theirs, it won't be long before Nvidia becomes irrelevant. Plus they have no foot in the console market at all. So that leaves the mobile market. The mobile market though is saturated as it is. Unfortunately for Nvidia, with much better solutions then theirs.

You have...

PowerVR

Mali

Andreno --> Fun fact it's Radeon with the letters rearranged.

All of which seem to outperform Nvidia's Tegra, without the problems with Nvidia's drivers and open source.

H3llion H3llion, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Showoffs.

But will they release open source drivers? Mali graphics are their biggest competitor and they offer open source drivers. Ain't bad in performance either.

I think this is a bad decision for nVidia in the long run. It shows they don't care about their leading edge over the competition and would sell it off for capital instead. They simply look money hungry. And while money for business is good, it can drive a mad company into the ground.

Its not like nvidia to go after the money.......

I think this is a bad decision for nVidia in the long run. It shows they don't care about their leading edge over the competition and would sell it off for capital instead. They simply look money hungry. And while money for business is good, it can drive a mad company into the ground.

Perhaps it's only a short term decision. I don't know a lot about the industry, but look at a couple recent trends.... both Intel's and AMD's latest CPUs have integrated graphics that take a slice out of the bottom of the PC market, and the PC market is shrinking overall. If I remember right, AMD units will be in both the PS4 and XB1. They need to expand into different areas and mobile is the up and coming place to do that. However, in the mobile space they're a bit behind. Licensing any technology they do have can buy them some time until they can come out with something to better compete with Qualcomm's chips. I could be completely wrong about this, but wasn't (isn't) Tegra a little power hungry and didn't have quite the performance of a Snapdragon? Maybe someone with better knowledge can chime in... DBV, you around?

I think this is a bad decision for nVidia in the long run. It shows they don't care about their leading edge over the competition and would sell it off for capital instead. They simply look money hungry. And while money for business is good, it can drive a mad company into the ground.

Perhaps it's only a short term decision. I don't know a lot about the industry, but look at a couple recent trends.... both Intel's and AMD's latest CPUs have integrated graphics that take a slice out of the bottom of the PC market, and the PC market is shrinking overall. If I remember right, AMD units will be in both the PS4 and XB1. They need to expand into different areas and mobile is the up and coming place to do that. However, in the mobile space they're a bit behind. Licensing any technology they do have can buy them some time until they can come out with something to better compete with Qualcomm's chips. I could be completely wrong about this, but wasn't (isn't) Tegra a little power hungry and didn't have quite the performance of a Snapdragon? Maybe someone with better knowledge can chime in... DBV, you around?

PC market isn't shrinking, but it's becoming hostile towards Nvidia. With AMD's integrated graphics and Intel working on theirs, it won't be long before Nvidia becomes irrelevant. Plus they have no foot in the console market at all. So that leaves the mobile market. The mobile market though is saturated as it is. Unfortunately for Nvidia, with much better solutions then theirs.

You have...

PowerVR

Mali

Andreno --> Fun fact it's Radeon with the letters rearranged.

All of which seem to outperform Nvidia's Tegra, without the problems with Nvidia's drivers and open source.

This reminds me bit of Kodak/Nokia moments where they did not tap into certain area of business and it did not work out well for them in the end ^^

Although Nvidia will be strong in the Desktop market for at least next 5 years.

OliTheG OliTheG said:

Nvidia: Complains about AMD, saying that they are awful for making parts for consoles, because nVidia can then rule the PC world, which is only where the cool kids are.

Licenses parts for casual games on phones.

Well, that all checks ou WAIT A MINUTE.

2 people like this | dividebyzero dividebyzero, trainee n00b, said:

Nvidia: Complains about AMD, saying that they are awful for making parts for consoles

Cool story bro.

[link]

That's some world class complaining right there

because nVidia can then rule the PC world, which is only where the cool kids are.

You're probably thinking of Intel...if at all.

Andreno --> Fun fact it's Radeon with the letters rearranged.

It's Adreno not Andreno. An anagram of Andreno would be Radeonn

IMO...

Smart move by Nvidia. Secondary income source, and a degree of load sharing in an area (mobile/SoC) that Nvidia needs to move and evolve quickly into. Licencing out their IP to interested parties also means a share of those developments are likely to involve a CUDA + OpenGL/CL framework. It spreads R&D, visibility, and risk further than 2701 San Tomas Expressway and compliments the Kayla dev kit already available

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

[link]

That's some world class complaining right there

LOL

Thats not my type of complaining.

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