Though it was absolutely no surprise to find out, it was somewhat unexpected to hear all the same. Intel and nVidia have worked out their differences and will be sharing patents … so long as Intel coughs up $1.5 billion to nVidia’s coffers.
To say that these two companies, Intel and nVidia, have not exactly seen eye-to-eye in the past is nothing short of an understatement.
And yet, ever since AMD bought out ATi, never have Intel and nVidia needed each other more.
So, again, not a surprise, but somewhat unexpected regardless.
The future should become rather interesting. Intel can no longer afford to keep putting out such lackluster integrated graphics, and they know it. They’ve announced their “Eye Candy”. What will their future hold?
And nVidia meanwhile has expressed plans to offer ARM-based CPUs in 2013? That should be interesting. I wonder what technology from Intel they’ll be able to incorporate into that.
But I also have to wonder at the subtleties. nVidia, for example, was particularly good with memory controllers … up until CPUs started impeding that with their own integrated ones. Will Intel for example be able to tweak their future CPUs with some of nVidia’s wily memory-handling ways? And what will be see in the future from nVidia chipsets for Intel motherboards? Will nVidia’s integrated firewalls come back? Will SLI be better supported on Intel boards? With integrated graphics as well?
What the future holds exactly will, of course, be up to Intel and nVidia to work out. Potentially they have the technologies needed to compete quite well with AMD+ATi instead of struggling on their own while bickering.
Ideally, granted, I’m a little concerned that we’re going to really be losing market competition here though. With these tightly bound CPU and graphics tie-ins, even if theoretically you could pair Intel with ATi or AMD with nVidia there has got to reach a point where the performance for doing so will suffer. And with all other parties virtually nonentities in the competition these days, it looks to make for an awfully choiceless future, even if that future will be filled with interesting things.