CNET también está disponible en español.

Ir a español

Don't show this again

Tech Industry

NeoMagic sues Trident

NeoMagic, a designer of graphics accelerator chips, sues its rival for allegedly infringing on patents for display technologies.

    NeoMagic, a designer of graphics accelerator chips, has sued rival Trident Microsystems for allegedly infringing on patents for display technologies.

    NeoMagic contends in a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Delaware, that Mountain View, California-based Trident is making graphics chips based on NeoMagic technology patented in 1997.

    The lawsuit comes amidst heightened competition for a space in PC notebooks--a battle which of late NeoMagic has been winning with increasing regularity.

    The two patents protect integrated circuits that combine control of graphics displayed on notebook or desktop monitors that include video memory on the same chip, according to NeoMagic.

    "Trident's infringing activities [include] development, manufacture, use, sale, and/or offer for sale of integrated circuit chips having embedded memory features and capabilities," said NeoMagic, which asked a judge to affirm the infringement, stop Trident's use of the designs, and award unspecified damages.

    Officials of Trident could not be reached to comment on the suit.

    After the main chip, graphics chips are the most critical piece of silicon in personal computers today. These chips handle the manipulation of images users see on their screens and are increasingly important as computer interfaces and 3D games become more sophisticated.

    NeoMagic's lead in the market for notebook PC multimedia graphics accelerators is on the increase, according to a recent report from Cahners In-Stat. During the second quarter of 1998, NeoMagic captured 54 percent of the total notebook graphics market, compared to a 49 percent share in the first quarter, the report said.

    In addition to competing with Trident, NeoMagic has been fighting for market share with ATI Technologies and S3, among others.

    Currently, NeoMagic's customers include Compaq Computer, IBM, Dell Computer, and Hewlett-Packard.

    Bloomberg contributed to this report.