Nvidia has announced that it has signed a new six-year cross-licensing agreement with Intel. Beginning on January 18, 2011, Intel will pay Nvidia an aggregate of $1.5 billion in licensing fees for the future use of Nvidia's technology. The new agreement has been made in time before the last one expires on March 31, 2011.

Under the new agreement, Intel will have continued access to Nvidia's full range of patents. In return, Nvidia will receive an aggregate of $1.5 billion in licensing fees, to be paid in annual installments, and retain use of Intel's patents, which excludes Intel's proprietary processors, flash memory, and certain chipsets for the Intel platform.

This is the formal result of a settlement between the two hardware giants: Nvidia and Intel have agreed to drop all outstanding legal disputes between them. This may not be as significant as AMD buying ATI, but it does mean the two companies will be much stronger going forward into 2011.

"This agreement signals a new era for Nvidia," Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia's president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. "Our cross license with Intel reflects the substantial value of our visual and parallel computing technologies. It also underscores the importance of our inventions to the future of personal computing, as well as the expanding markets for mobile and cloud computing."