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Nvidia to license its GPU, visual computing portfolio to target bigger market

Nvidia to license its GPU

Nvidia is set to take on the likes of Qualcomm and ARM. The GPU maker has stated in its blog that the company will be licensing its GPU and the visual computing portfolio.

This would mean that more products in future could have GPU developed by Nvidia. The company has stated that the licensing process will start with its GPU core based on the Kepler architecture. This technology is currently used in shipping GeForce PC GPUs, Quadro workstation graphics and Tesla supercomputing GPUs. Moreover, NVIDIA’s next-generation Tegra mobile processor, codenamed Logan, also uses Kepler.

On the other hand, the licensing of its visual computing portfolio will let third-party developers to come up with their own GPU graphics technology, taking advantage of Nvidia’s vast array of patents.

“It’s not practical to build silicon or systems to address every part of the expanding market,” said, David Shannon, Nvidia Executive Vice President. “Adopting a new business approach will allow us to address the universe of devices.”

NVIDIA still going all guns blazing

NVIDIA still going all guns blazing

This move has come as the GPU developer is facing a slowdown in the PC market, which was once dominated by the company. Increasing popularity in mobile computing devices like smartphones and tablets has meant that the high-end graphics manufacturer is facing problems in raising its stake in the market.

Talking to the Reuters Global Technology Summit, Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO Nvidia, stressed that licensing graphics cores and visual patents would help the company take advantage of the booming market for smartphones and tablets and tap markets it could not reach through selling its own chips. “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,” said Huang.

This is not the first time that the company will be licensing its product. Sony, in the past, had licensed Nvidia GPU technology for PS3, while Intel even today continues to pay Nvidia more than $250 million a year to license its various patents.

However, this move is expected to make Nvidia a competitor to the UK-based firm Imagination Technologies. The graphics technology developed by this firm is used in Apple’s iPhone and Samsung’s Galaxy S4 smartphone.

Asked whether Nvidia could feature on Apple and Samsung devices in future, Huang said, “We will target customers where their capacity and desire to build their own application processors is great,” said Huang. “This is a way for us to engage customers who don’t like to buy chips because they like to create their own, because they have the capacity, creativity and now the scale to build their own,” he added.


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