Intel to pay $1.5 billion over 5 years to Nvidia in patent settlement

Intel’s press release follows, verbatim:

Intel Corporation today announced that it has entered into a new comprehensive long-term patent cross license agreement with NVIDIA. The companies have also resolved pending litigation in Chancery Court in Wilmington, Del., ending all outstanding legal disputes between the companies.

“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. Intel will pay NVIDIA $1.5 billion over the next 5 years. This obligation will be recognized as a liability totaling approximately $1.4 billion, on a discounted basis. Intel recognized an expense of $100 million in the fourth-quarter of 2010, classified as “marketing, general and administrative.” The remaining amount, approximately $1.3 billion, will be recognized as an intangible asset in the first quarter of 2011 and will be amortized into cost of sales over future periods.With the exception of one agreement term that is confidential, the agreement will be made available in filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and can be viewed at

Source: Intel Corporation


  1. What this means is that Nvidia can begin to develop discreet graphics for the newer intel chips… meaning that the macbook air and 13″ MB/MBP models can finally get Core i3’s or better… and still keep decent graphics performance within reach.

  2. There seems to be some misinformation and false hope.

    NVIDIA isn’t going to have their graphics integrated into Intel chips (for the foreseeable future). Although some of their technology may be used as part of the patent licensing.

    With Sandy Bridge, and moving forward, integrated graphics now means actually having the graphics be part of the same silicon…and this is much more efficient.

    Even with integrated graphics, discrete graphics can be added depending upon the board (in the case of the Mac, it’s all up to Apple to engineer it one way or the other).

    This was all really an inevitable evolution of the technology. Unless Intel was going to buy NVIDIA, the integrated graphics would really need to be developed by Intel to be included in the same silicon (which offers huge advantages).

  3. @macslut
    Unfortunately, integrated Intel graphics have been inferior to other options to date. In addition, their latest efforts appear to be moving away from Apple’s roadmap and technologies, such as OpenGL. A schism is growing between Intel and Apple, and the CPU future for the Mac appears somewhat uncertain, IMO.

  4. @ lukeskymac

    I think you should look at the success of Apple since they adopted Intel chipsets. From the outset Apple sold way more intel macs. It triggered a surge in sales and has allowed Apple to focus on design initially outside and then inside.

    You forget the months waiting for the first G4 powerbook to ship because moto could make enough chips of high enough quality. Even earlier, G4 towers were delayed because of chip production. Then Apple finally gave up because the G5 could never be made cool enough for laptops.

    Apple were treading water for years because their suppliers could not provide them with what they needed.

    The minute the new intel macs were released the units were in plentiful supply. Apple managed to transition the whole platform in 6 months.

    Granted there has been some bumps in the road but since they started using intel chipsets they have been able to reduce component costs and make robust machines.

  5. First they settled with AMD and has to pay them big money. Now they settle with Nvidia and have to pay them allot of money too.

    If this is not proof enough for everyone that Intel is a big monopistic company with business practices more like a criminal than a good corporation. Intel’s moto is that if there can be no Intel inside there should be no one inside. Just look at how Intel through criminal activities managed to hold of AMD for years when Intel themselves was struggling with P4. AMD was smacking Intel but for years but for some reason AMD didn’t gan for that as much as Intel gained when they started to kick AMD but. through criminal activities they held off AMD and limited customers choice.

    Last lintel CPU I bought was P4 at 2,4 Ghz. And I will never buy another Intel CPU, ofcourse except when I buy a Mac because here we have no choice other then buying CPUs from the criminal company.

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