Nvidia blasts sueballs at Qualcomm, Samsung – wants Galaxy kit banned

Claims its patents cover just about every mobile GPU


Nvidia claims to hold patents on core graphics processor technologies found in mobile phones and tablets, and is suing Qualcomm and Samsung as a result.

The graphics chip giant has filed lawsuits against the two semiconductor goliaths, seeking damages and an injunction blocking US sales of what Nvidia claims are the companies' infringing products.

In a blog post on Thursday, Nvidia chief administrative officer David Shannon wrote that although the graphics chipmaker holds some 7,000 patents, this is the first time in its 21-year history that it has filed a patent lawsuit.

The company simultaneously filed suit in the US District Court in Delaware and with the International Trade Commission (ITC).

While Nvidia has singled out Qualcomm and Samsung as defendants in these legal battles, Shannon made plain that Nvidia believes a broad range of its competitors' technologies are covered by its patents.

"We are asking the ITC to block shipments of Samsung Galaxy mobile phones and tablets containing Qualcomm's Adreno, ARM's Mali or Imagination's PowerVR graphics architectures," Shannon said, naming all three major competitors to Nvidia's own Tegra tech.

The exact patents Nvidia has named in its lawsuits are the following:

Each covers some aspect of the technologies found in modern GPUs, which Shannon said Nvidia played a large part in inventing:

Those patents include our foundational invention, the GPU, which puts onto a single chip all the functions necessary to process graphics and light up screens; our invention of programmable shading, which allows non-experts to program sophisticated graphics; our invention of unified shaders, which allow every processing unit in the GPU to be used for different purposes; and our invention of multithreaded parallel processing in GPUs, which enables processing to occur concurrently on separate threads while accessing the same memory and other resources.

Shannon said Nvidia has tried to negotiate a license with Samsung, but to no avail. "Samsung repeatedly said that this was mostly their suppliers' problem," he wrote.

Nvidia has asked the ITC to block sale or importation of any products found to be infringing, and in the Delaware case it has asked for compensation of up to three times the actual amount of damages found, plus court costs and attorneys' fees.

Neither Qualcomm nor Samsung has responded to The Reg's request for comment on the matter. A spokesperson for Imagination, which isn't a defendant in today's legal action, declined to comment on the case, but added: "We are confident that our graphics technology is unique and well protected." ®


Other stories you might like

  • It's 2022 and there are still malware-laden PDFs in emails exploiting bugs from 2017
    Crafty file names, encrypted malicious code, Office flaws – ah, it's like the Before Times

    HP's cybersecurity folks have uncovered an email campaign that ticks all the boxes: messages with a PDF attached that embeds a Word document that upon opening infects the victim's Windows PC with malware by exploiting a four-year-old code-execution vulnerability in Microsoft Office.

    Booby-trapping a PDF with a malicious Word document goes against the norm of the past 10 years, according to the HP Wolf Security researchers. For a decade, miscreants have preferred Office file formats, such as Word and Excel, to deliver malicious code rather than PDFs, as users are more used to getting and opening .docx and .xlsx files. About 45 percent of malware stopped by HP's threat intelligence team in the first quarter of the year leveraged Office formats.

    "The reasons are clear: users are familiar with these file types, the applications used to open them are ubiquitous, and they are suited to social engineering lures," Patrick Schläpfer, malware analyst at HP, explained in a write-up, adding that in this latest campaign, "the malware arrived in a PDF document – a format attackers less commonly use to infect PCs."

    Continue reading
  • New audio server Pipewire coming to next version of Ubuntu
    What does that mean? Better latency and a replacement for PulseAudio

    The next release of Ubuntu, version 22.10 and codenamed Kinetic Kudu, will switch audio servers to the relatively new PipeWire.

    Don't panic. As J M Barrie said: "All of this has happened before, and it will all happen again." Fedora switched to PipeWire in version 34, over a year ago now. Users who aren't pro-level creators or editors of sound and music on Ubuntu may not notice the planned change.

    Currently, most editions of Ubuntu use the PulseAudio server, which it adopted in version 8.04 Hardy Heron, the company's second LTS release. (The Ubuntu Studio edition uses JACK instead.) Fedora 8 also switched to PulseAudio. Before PulseAudio became the standard, many distros used ESD, the Enlightened Sound Daemon, which came out of the Enlightenment project, best known for its desktop.

    Continue reading
  • VMware claims 'bare-metal' performance on virtualized GPUs
    Is... is that why Broadcom wants to buy it?

    The future of high-performance computing will be virtualized, VMware's Uday Kurkure has told The Register.

    Kurkure, the lead engineer for VMware's performance engineering team, has spent the past five years working on ways to virtualize machine-learning workloads running on accelerators. Earlier this month his team reported "near or better than bare-metal performance" for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) and Mask R-CNN — two popular machine-learning workloads — running on virtualized GPUs (vGPU) connected using Nvidia's NVLink interconnect.

    NVLink enables compute and memory resources to be shared across up to four GPUs over a high-bandwidth mesh fabric operating at 6.25GB/s per lane compared to PCIe 4.0's 2.5GB/s. The interconnect enabled Kurkure's team to pool 160GB of GPU memory from the Dell PowerEdge system's four 40GB Nvidia A100 SXM GPUs.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022