NVIDIA made some statements about mobile GPU licensing in the last couple of years but so far these efforts have been fruitless. DigiTimes believes the launch of the company's new Maxwell cores may truly kick off the firm's licensing efforts though, claiming NVIDIA is looking to rely on its licensing business and GPU patents to penetrate into the mobile GPU market, which is dominated by ARM and Qualcomm.
Prime reasons why the site believes NVIDIA has a better chance to compete now include Maxwell's 160 percent increase in performance per area and higher flexibility in the location of the GPU. Additionally, DigiTimes also notes that NVIDIA's patent lawsuits are part of the company's patent licensing plan:
Nvidia's upcoming Maxwell has a performance per area about 160% better than Kepler and has a higher flexibility in the location of the GPU, allowing clients to easily achieve their desired performance/cost balances. Therefore, Digitimes Research believes Nvidia's GPU licensing business may not actually start contributing revenues until the Maxwell architecture's release.
Meanwhile, Nvidia has filed lawsuits against Samsung Electronics and Qualcomm for infringing its GPU patents. Nvidia has over 7,000 GPU patents and is suing the two firms for patents related to some basic technologies such as object texture, lighting, shading, GPGPU, vertex operator. Samsung Electronics is being sued for using ARM's Mali GPU architecture.
The patent lawsuits are a part of Nvidia's patent licensing plan. And if Nvidia prevails in the patent war, clients should be more willingly to use Nvidia's GPUs.