There was a time when Nvidia’s complete attention was on providing PC users with the best graphics cards and GPUs. But then the market shifted, and mobile platforms arrived. So Nvidia also shifted its focus and embraced mobile platforms with the introduction of its Tegra system-on-a-chip (SoC) line.However, the market for GPUs and the devices consumers want to buy continues to change, so Nvidia is making another shift. Only this time, it’s not another new product line, it’s sharing the company’s GPU architecture and patent portfolio with others.Nvidia has announced that it intends to start licensing its GPU technology and visual computing patents for others to use and extend however they wish. It means Nvidia will be able to earn revenue from the use of its technology by others without having to do anything other than making its GPU designs and documentation available.For Nvidia’s partners choosing to pay for such a license, it unlocks access to Kepler architecture GPUs that are DirectX 11, OpenGL 4.3, and GPGPU capable, as well as scaling from smartphone power levels right through for use in high-end desktop PCs and even supercomputers. There’s also the option to add to the base functionality Nvidia offers, allowing the flexibility for some hopefully quite novel applications.Nvidia isn’t exactly new to the area of technology licensing. In the past both Sony and Microsoft have agreed to license deals to get the company’s technology into their games consoles. Nvidia’s patent licensing is also already very profitable with Intel paying the company over $250 million in license fees every year.By opening up its technology to everyone for a fee, Nvidia can expect to see a significant jump in its revenue while continuing to focus on research and development for next-generation designs. At the same time, don’t expect Nvidia graphics cards and SoC solutions to disappear. This is just an expansion of their offerings, not a shift away from their core business.