Many casual followers of the mobile industry might think Samsung vs Apple is the only battle going on these days, but the truth is that many of these companies have a lot more going on. Samsung, for instance, has a pretty significant microprocessor division that makes mobile chipsets and GPUs used in all their major smartphones and tablets. NVIDIA, a major player in the desktop and mobile GPU arena, accused Samsung of using some of their technology without proper licensing.
Those two have been bumping heads since September when NVIDIA launched lawsuits against their biggest competitors (Qualcomm was also included in that round of lawsuits) for using unlicensed patents. It looks like Samsung has decided to strike back in a characteristic counter-lawsuit.
The company alleges that NVIDIA is using some of their technology, as well. You already know how this goes — both companies try to throw dirt on each other, and one of them will come out the victor after grueling sessions of litigation. There are 8 patents being fought over here, with Samsung claiming NVIDIA to be infringing on 6, and one of NVIDIA’s Virginia-based customers — Velocity Micro — infringing on all 8.
But more interesting is the side battle going on between the two: Samsung argued in their formal complaint that NVIDIA is falsely advertising the SHIELD Tablet as the fastest tablet in the game. They allege that their Exynos 5433 is better than Tegra K1 as it supposedly beats NVIDIA’s chipset in a couple of benchmarks. NVIDIA’s response? While they don’t have a formal counteraction against Samsung in the courtroom just yet, they did come out to attempt to refute Samsung’s claims.
NVIDIA published a graph showing benchmarks comparing speed between the Tegra K1 inside the SHIELD Tablet up against the Exynos 5433 inside the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. If their findings are accurate, the Tegra K1 beat the Exynos 5433 in all but 3 benchmarks in terms of total speed (though many of the victories were only by narrow margins).
NVIDIA says the tests were performed on both devices with out-of-the-box configurations and publicly-available software, though we’ve seen in the past that software skins on top of Android — such as TouchWiz — can produce significantly different benchmark results compared to the exact same hardware with stock Android. It might help that NVIDIA’s SHIELD Tablet doesn’t do anything to change the Android user interface outside of a few pre-installed apps, but we can’t say for sure.
More than just false advertisement claims, though, NVIDIA says they’re more upset that a mega corporation like Samsung is looking to sue small town guys like Velocity Micro in a tactic that serves them no purpose other than to get their main case — the one directly against NVIDIA — to court faster. While we can’t be sure that’s Samsung’s true intention, NVIDIA certainly isn’t shy about telling their side of the story. Let’s hope Samsung comes out to do the same in due time.