Nvidia to licence GPU technology to third-party manufacturers
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Although Nvidia already produces its own silicon, with the GeForce branding for laptops and desktops – and Tegra for mobile devices – the company's Executive VP David Shannon now takes to the official blog to talk about plans to license GPU core technology and visual computing patents to other device manufacturers.
Nvidia will first license the Kepler GPU core, which Shannon points out is scalable from smartphones to supercomputers, but also mentions the company's experience with Tegra and designing for small power envelopes.
"Kepler is the basis for currently shipping GeForce, Quadro and Tesla GPUs, as well as our next-generation Tegra mobile processor codenamed Logan. Licensees will receive all necessary designs, collateral and support to integrate NVIDIA’s powerful graphics cores into their devices", says Shannon.
Third-party manufacturing of Nvidia-based ARM SoCs is not mentioned specifically. However, Android is, and the fact that PC sales are declining while the opposite is happening in the smartphone and tablet markets.
Shannon also takes aim at investors and points to the company's experience in the licensing business. The evidence presented is Nvidia's licensing of the GPU core to Sony for the Playstation 3 and a $250-million-a-year fee received from Intel for its visual computing patents.
On the whole, the announcement is somewhat surprising considering Nvidia's already strong position in the areas where the company is looking to expand.