ARM CEO defends chip technology connected to Nvidia legal fight

Reuters News
Posted: Sep 22, 2014 7:37 PM

By Noel Randewich

SAN JOSE Calif. (Reuters) - ARM Holdings Chief Executive Officer Simon Segars on Monday defended the British chip designer's smartphone graphics technology connected to a patent suit by Nvidia Corp against Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm.

This month, Nvidia said it was suing rival Qualcomm and Samsung Electronics, accusing both companies of infringing its property patents on graphics chip technology.

Nvidia said Samsung devices made with graphics technology from ARM, Qualcomm and Imagination Technologies illegally use its intellectual property, or IP.

"We stand behind our IP. To the extent that we need to, we absolutely work with our partners when something like this happens," Segars told Reuters in an interview on Monday.

Nvidia has not said it is suing ARM or Imagination but it did say it would ask the U.S. International Trade Commission to prevent shipments of Samsung devices containing ARM's Mali or Imagination's PowerVR graphics architectures, as well as Qualcomm's graphics technology.

Cambridge-based ARM does not manufacture its own chips. Instead, it licenses the rights to use its various processor designs and architecture to chipmakers across the mobile industry.

Nvidia depends on ARM's technology to make its Tegra chips for tablets and cars, but that ARM technology is not part of Nvidia's allegations against Samsung.

"It does create a bit of a curious situation. But we do a lot of business with a lot of people," Segars said of ARM's ongoing licensing relationship with Nvidia.

(Reporting by Noel Randewich; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)