In an official post on its blog earlier today, Nvidia has announced that it has begun litigation proceedings against Samsung regarding seven patents related to its GPU technology and intellectual property. The suit seeks the complete ban of all current Galaxy series devices featuring Qualcomm Adreno, ARM Mali and PowerVR GPUs. The suit was filed in Delaware US District Court with Nvidia also appealing to the International Trade Commission in the litigation and has also uploaded the complaints in full (1, 2). Nvidia claims that it had attempted to negotiate patent licensing terms with Samsung, was repeatedly rebuffed and then told to take it up with Qualcomm, which led to the suit.
The suit also follows Nvidia’s recent shift in focus away from mobile with the Tegra K1 chipset despite slight progress on the mobile front with Chinese OEMs adopting the chipset in recent months and even selling chips to HP for integration into their recently launched Android-powered laptop outside of their own hardware ventures with the newly launched Shield tablet.
Nvidia initially began to focus on mobile phones and tablets in 2009 as Android itself was picking up steam, with many early Android OEMs such as LG and Archos signing on to develop and launch devices with the first generations of its Tegra chipset, LG with the Optimus 2x and Archos with its tablets before struggling to gain marketshare against Qualcomm and other mobile chip makers, as well as complaints from Tegra-powered device owners regarding a lack of Android updates compared to other manufacturers, which then led to lower than expected demand for its chipsets and a shift from mobile as a result.