SAN JOSE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aug. 28, 2000–NVIDIA(TM) Corporation , the leader in advanced graphics processing technology, announced today that it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against 3dfx Interactive(R) Inc. in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
NVIDIA’s lawsuit involves five NVIDIA patents and seeks an injunction restraining 3dfx from manufacturing, selling or importing infringing graphics chip and card products including VooDoo3, Voodoo4 and Voodoo5 and VSA-100 family of products, as well as monetary damages.
The lawsuit alleges that 3dfx’s graphics chip and card products which are used to accelerate 3D graphics on personal computers, infringe on the following NVIDIA U.S. Patents: No: 5,687,357; No. 5,721,947; No: 5,758,182; No: 6,023,738; and No: 6,092,124.
“We have always been on the forefront of innovation in 3D graphics technology and visual computing,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of NVIDIA. “This innovation is achieved through the annual investment of hundreds of millions of dollars in research and development. We cannot allow the fruits of this investment to be misappropriated.”
The patents in question are:
- Register array for utilizing burst mode transfer on local bus
- Apparatus adapted to be joined between the system I/O bus and I/O devices which translates addresses furnished directly by an application program
- DMA controller translates virtual I/O device address received directly from application program command to physical i/o device address of I/O device on device bus
- Method and apparatus for accelerating the transfer of graphical images
- Method and apparatus for accelerating the rendering of images
I’m not an electrical engineer, so I can’t really comment on the validity of these particular intellectual property claims, but it should be fairly obvious that this case will have serious repercussions for the 3D graphics industry whatever the outcome.
UPDATE 21:04:50: As Temporal pointed out in the comments, 3dfx sued NVIDIA 2 years ago over a multitexturing patent, so neither side is exactly innocent.