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Samsung countersues NVIDIA in tit-for-tat spat over GPUs

NVIDIA sued Samsung in September. Samsung has now counter-sued NVIDIA saying that NVIDIA has violated 6 patents. And so the battle has begun.
By
November 12, 2014

Back in early September, NVIDIA filed a patent infringement complaint against Samsung and Qualcomm. The complaint alleged that several of Samsung’s products including the Galaxy S5 and the Note 4 infringe GPU related patents owned by NVIDIA. Samsung has now counter-sued NVIDIA. Samsung’s complaint says that NVIDIA has violated 6 patents. NVIDIA has published a blog post about Samsung’s counter-suit saying that it fully expected to be sued by Samsung as this was a normal, even predictable, tactic.

As well as the complaints over patents, Samsung also calls out NVIDIA for false advertising.
Samsung’s complaint also mentions Velocity Micro, a small customer of NVIDIA based in Virginia. Samsung says that Velocity Micro has used technology covered by 8 of its patents without a license. The reason that the complaint against NVIDIA is for 6 patents and not 8 is that the last two cover manufacturing processes. The inclusion of Velocity Micro is for two reasons. First, when NVIDIA sued Samsung the complaint mentioned Samsung and Qualcomm (i.e. the GPU manufacturer and the GPU designer ). Samsung has done the same. Second, Samsung is hoping to keep its lawsuit in Virginia, which has a faster time to trial than most jurisdictions in the United States.

As well as the complaints over patents, Samsung also calls out NVIDIA for false advertising, specifically its claims that the NVIDIA Shield Tablet has the “world’s fastest mobile processor.” According to Samsung, NVIDIA’s claim that the Shield Tablet has the world’s fastest mobile processor is a false and misleading statement. Samsung’s complaint says that “The Samsung Exynos 5433 SOC, as used in the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 mobile computing device, scores higher in both the single-core and multi-core Geekbench 3 benchmark tests than the NVIDIA Tegra Kl SOC used in the NVIDIA Shield Tablet.”

Then in an interesting twist, Samsung invokes the name of Apple.

Then in an interesting twist, Samsung invokes the name of Apple to prove that the Shield Tablet doesn’t have the world’s fastest mobile processor. The Korean electronics giant goes on to say, “The Apple A8X SOC, used inthe Apple iPad Air 2 tablet, also scores higher in both the single-core and multi-core Geekbench 3 benchmark tests than the NVIDIA Tegra Kl SOC.”

NVIDIA’s response has been to defend its claim that the K1 is faster than the Exynos 5433. “We aren’t yet ready to respond formally to Samsung’s lawsuit. But we can’t hold back on their false contention that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4 outperforms the SHIELD tablet,” wrote NVIDIA.

shield-versus-note4-benchmarks

So the battle has begun and there is no way of knowing who will win, but one thing is for sure, this mess will take several years to work out.