This is the chimera of the microcosm of the computer, the arrival of a third truck in the segment of x86 processors, NVIDIA. It has long been talked about and a few days ago the announcement of the complaint the FTC has revived the rumors. Ashlee Vance, an ex of The Register who now officiates at the New York Times published a column not uninteresting on the subject, which gives a little more weight to these rumors. As we discovered, the FTC complaint effectively enables a company with x86 already licensed to use it to produce chips of a competitor, but it goes further because another section requires Intel to make available all the necessary technology to interact with Intel CPUs and chipsets, including the extension of current licenses. Obviously, it will need a good dose of clarifying that this means that Intel must assign a license x86 NVIDIA, but it is not so far.
For better or worse, as the chameleon would work in the greatest secrecy at the heart of California's mountains to the creation of its first x86 processor. The publisher wants to show the many ex-Transmeta engineers who now work at NVIDIA. Our colleague says that if the engineers can work on other projects, such as Tegra or even closed, some are very specialized in the validation x86. Their job is to confirm with more certainty as possible that a product X or Y will be compatible with all software architecture x86. A critical point so when one tries to produce an x86 processor ... This information comes from David Kanter, the highly respected Real World Technologies. Another key point between 2006 and 2008, the budget for Research and Development at NVIDIA went from 352 million dollars per year to 855.9 million dollars a year, with most of this increase from the salary of engineers.
If the well should help GPGPU NVIDIA's Tegra and 2 could experience some success, it is obvious that if AMD and Intel GPUs incorporate into their CPU, and block the installation of a third party graphics card (or reduce the interest significantly), the chameleon risk of losing much of its revenue.
Last, the conclusion of the complaint by the FTC is not immediately, NVIDIA should not run x86 CPU in the coming months. Now this has never prevented the chameleon to develop products ... We think including chipsets compatible with Nehalem / Westmere, currently being prepared as the chameleon has no right to sell ... for now.
The "GPU part" of the complaint clearly took Intel by surprise, and it is this that the Santa Clara giant focuses its response. In an interview with Fox last Friday, Paul Otellini, Intel president, and asserted that the FTC wanted his company dismisses the technologies it develops to its competition, and that Intel had learned of the party GPU complaint a few days (December 8) before it is announced. The stakes are high, and the battle over the latter may therefore be long and fierce, but more than ever, we might wake up with a competition to three on the x86 CPU market in a few years.