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Nvidia to license graphics technology to other companies

Nvidia to license graphics technology to other companies

Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia CEO - Photo: Reuters/Stephen Lam

Nvidia has announced it will begin licensing its graphics technologies to other companies, allowing for the likes of Apple and Samsung to incorporate previously protected technologies into their products.

The move is a new approach for the company as it tries to further take advantage of the burgeoning mobile market, following its modest success with its Tegra line of mobile processors.

"The bottom line is the world has changed and we're expanding our business model to serve markets that we historically could not serve by selling chips alone," Nvidia CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang said.

Although Nvidia has already made an entrance to the mobile processor space, the new licensing deal will enable the company to gain revenue from other mobile processor manufacturers such as Apple, Qualcomm and Samsung. While this route would produce much lower return per chip, it is likely to be a more stable business model.

The move will, however, put Nvidia into direct competition with a couple of established players: ARM and Imagination Technologies. Both British-based outfits already license mobile-oriented graphics technologies to most of the key players in the market, with Imagination Technologies also having backing from Apple and Intel who hold significant stakes in the company.

ARM of course licenses its mobile CPU technology to Nvidia - and every others significant mobile processor manufacturer - so it will be interesting to see if the two continue to work together in the longer term.

For the time being Nvidia has recently launched Tegra 4, which is debuting in the company's mobile game console, Shield. Longer term it will also be integrating LTE features on upcoming versions of Tegra, making them compatible with so-called 4G networks. Currently their lack of LTE technology is harming Nvidia, Intel and other chipmakers as they try to secure design wins. In the 4G space, Qualcomm is dominating the market.

Despite the positive long term prospects for going the licensing route, Huang said that Nvidia's revenue from licensing would trail that from chip sales for a long time, but that gross margins would improve as the company wins more royalties.

Source: Reuters

8 Comments

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miller 19th June 2013, 17:33 Quote
HA, HA, Now they can also experience the wonders of Nvidia drivers, Your Apple/Samsung phone/tablet etc, has crashed because "Nvidia driver has stopped responding and might recover if it feels like it"
mi1ez 19th June 2013, 19:56 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by miller
HA, HA, Now they can also experience the wonders of Nvidia drivers, Your Apple/Samsung phone/tablet etc, has crashed because "Nvidia driver has stopped responding and might recover if it feels like it"

nvlddmkm.sys...
_crazy_crazy_ 20th June 2013, 02:32 Quote
lool a few years ago ati had the same problem with vpu recovery error lol
miller 20th June 2013, 11:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by _crazy_crazy_
lool a few years ago ati had the same problem with vpu recovery error lol

Did ATI fix it or AMD when they bought ATI?

This issue has been happening with Nvidia cards/drivers for a long time and never really been sorted which is why I used it as an example.
rollo 20th June 2013, 14:34 Quote
Sounds to me like tegra4 has struggled for market adoption so they are going to try and licence it to the big 2 in smartphone / tablet.

Samsung though could surely have tegra4 if they wanted it as after all they are an andriod oem. Apple this route might work for enough its still prob cheaper to buy out AMD than pay nvidia.
dyzophoria 22nd June 2013, 01:48 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rollo
Sounds to me like tegra4 has struggled for market adoption so they are going to try and licence it to the big 2 in smartphone / tablet.

Samsung though could surely have tegra4 if they wanted it as after all they are an andriod oem. Apple this route might work for enough its still prob cheaper to buy out AMD than pay nvidia.

exactly my thoughts, tegra hasn't really bought alot of people, "might" be a salvation for tegra if it proves feasible for other companies. (as SOC from samsung and apple have proven to be competitive as it is)
Elton 22nd June 2013, 06:00 Quote
What this might do though is leverage and split the marketplace between the Adreno (Qualcomm) products and tegra.

Half the reason why Tegra isn't popular is the fact that the only large name phone is the One X, which also has an S4 version.

Fascinatingly, Tegra 3 isn't bad at all. It's actually surprisingly fast, but the uptake by OEMs has been rather small. Which leads me to believe that either there is a mysterious shortage or that Qualcomm is offering much better prices (and admittedly more rapid updates especially on the modem side) that's making the Krait/S4 + Adreno package much more attractive.

In other words, the reason they're licensing this is that they are doing badly. The sales haven't picked up and that's partially due to the reason that Tegra 3 and 4's release schedule is so far apart while the Snapdragon stuff releases almost semi-anually. That's my guess anyhow.
MSHunter 22nd June 2013, 17:13 Quote
Wait that's what they did with Intel and then Intel turned around and slapped them hard saying they are no longer allowed to make Motherboards and intel produced thier first iGP.....
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