Liquid cooling system maker Asetek just threatened to make one of the hottest graphics cards of 2015 even hotter—by taking away its cooling system.
Asetek recently sent a cease and desist letter to AMD over the Radeon R9 Fury X, claiming the graphics card infringes on Asetek patents, according to GamersNexus. AMD had not yet responded to PCWorld’s request for comment at this writing.
The legal demand comes after Asetek won a patent infringement case against Cooler Master in late 2014 over CM’s Seidon lineup of liquid coolers. AMD’s flagship Fury X features a liquid cooling system built in conjunction with Cooler Master.
An image of the Asetek 510LC liquid CPU cooler on the company’s website. Credit: Asetek
In addition to its letters to AMD, Asetek is also going after Gigabyte and its GeForce GTX 980 WaterForce card, GamersNexus reports. Asetek may also go after Gigabyte’s GTX 980 Ti WaterForce card, but first the liquid cooler maker needs to obtain one for analysis.
Why this matters: A potential legal fight is the last thing AMD needs right now. The Fury X was AMD's first flagship Radeon release since the Radeon R9 290X launched in 2013, and AMD is also dealing with a recent restructuring that gives its graphics card division more autonomy. The company may also have to deal with unhappy customers after a recent software bug limited the fan speeds in some Radeon cards, causing them to overheat.
It remains to be seen if Asetek’s claims against AMD have any merit. Even if they do and AMD is willing to settle in order to keep the Fury X on store shelves, it’s not clear Asetek is in a settling mood.
Asetek won an injunction against Cooler Master in September that prevented the latter company from selling select products within the United States. Cooler Master is appealing the injunction.
In an email to GamersNexus, Asetek said it had no plans to reach a licensing agreement with Cooler Master “in the foreseeable future.” If Asetek takes the same attitude towards AMD, the Radeon flagship's central cooling solution might have to be re-engineered.
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