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Google Resolves Patent Litigation with Singular Computing Regarding AI Technology

Google settled lawsuit accusing them of copying AI chip tech; terms undisclosed but damages claim was up to $5.2 billion.


has settled a patent infringement lawsuit with Singular Computing, where the latter accused the tech giant of using its patented technology without permission in Google's tensor unit (TPU) chips. Although the terms of the settlement have not been disclosed by the Massachusetts federal court, court filings indicated that Singular sought damages ranging from $1.6 billion to $5.2 billion.

Implications for AI and Computing Innovation

The dispute centered around Google's usage of technology developed by Singular Computing, allegedly incorporated into Google's TPU v2 and v3 AI accelerators. These chips, critical to the infrastructure of Google , perform a significant number of low-precision calculations per processor cycle, a method well suited to software that accommodates such precision levels.

Continued Development in AI Infrastructure

Google, currently on its fifth generation of TPUs, relies on these chips to power various internal machine learning workloads and offers them for rental on its Cloud platform. Despite the allegations, Google has maintained that their TPUs were the result of independent development over several years. Google spokesperson José Castañeda emphasized the company's commitment to robust disclosure obligations.

The original allegations claimed that between 2010 and 2014, computer scientist Joseph Bates had presented Google with his patented technologies under a non-disclosure agreement. Singular Computing's patents included designs for computer architecture that were tailored for AI software.

Internal communications from Google had previously shown high-level interest in Bates' designs, with Google's chief scientist, Jeff Dean, acknowledging the suitability of the technology for Google's needs. However, Google consistently denied any wrongdoing or infringement of Singular's patents.

The settlement thus concludes the half-decade-long dispute between Singular Computing and Google, sparing both parties further litigation and potential damages. As the industry watches closely, this case underscores the sensitive nature of intellectual property in the rapidly evolving field of AI and the importance of such technologies to major players in the tech sector.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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