Intel may have just signed deal with AMD for licensing AMD graphics tech
It seems that Intel has signed a deal with AMD to license their Radeon graphics technology for Intel's graphics processors, if you believe the source. Kyle Bennett, Chief Editor of tech enthusiast site HardOCP and industry insider, posted on the forum on December 5th that "the licensing deal between AMD and Intel is signed and done for putting AMD GPU tech into Intel's iGPU”. Rumors about a deal between the two companies have been around for months, but this is the first report claiming that it's actually happened. Bennett doesn't have any reason to lie, but there are other reasons why this deal makes a lot of sense as well, according to Forbes.
For some background on why Intel is licensing anyone's technology, Nvidia and AMD both have so many patents regarding graphics technology that it's nearly impossible to design a graphics processing unit without infringing on them. They don't sue each other because AMD and Nvidia both have so many patents that the ensuing suits and counter-suits would likely bankrupt both companies. Unfortunately, Intel lacks the legal deterrence to avoid being sued for infringement without a license. Thus, in 2011, Intel agreed to pay Nvidia US$1.5 billion to license their technology in order to put a series of costly lawsuits to rest.
That agreement is up in 2017, and it's high time for Intel to either renew the agreement with Nvidia, or look to cut a deal with AMD. Given AMD's current tight spot in the market, it's possible they cut Intel a much better deal than Nvidia would have.
What effects could such a deal have? It's possible it won't have any impact at all and Intel's iGPUs will stay the same. The tantalizing possibility, as Forbes suggests, is that the Radeon graphics technology could be integrated into Intel's processors. That would be a highly disruptive and risky development for both companies, but crazier things have happened.