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Anonymous
a b à CPUs
November 19, 2004 12:28:33 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

Well, it's interesting how we start talking about a subject, and
within days there's something new to announce about it. In this case
why Nvidia doesn't do a Pentium 4 chipset?

Nvidia semi announces Pentium 4 chipset
http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=19780

Nvidia signs Intel bus licence deal | The Register
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/11/19/nvidia_intel_bu...

Latest News and Financial Information | Reuters.com
"UPDATE 2-Nvidia, Intel sign patent license agreement"
http://yahoo.reuters.com/financeQuoteCompanyNewsArticle...

Yousuf Khan

More about : nvidia intel

November 21, 2004 6:39:44 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

ykhan wrote:
> Well, it's interesting how we start talking about a subject, and
> within days there's something new to announce about it. In this case
> why Nvidia doesn't do a Pentium 4 chipset?

The speculation has begun about the nature of Nvidia's license agreement
with Intel. Previously it was thought that Nvidia has to pay for it. Now
they are speculating that Intel just gave it for free in exchange for
some graphics patents in return.

Nvidia may have Intel Pentium 4 licence for nothing
http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=19791

Yousuf Khan
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
November 21, 2004 9:00:41 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

On Sun, 21 Nov 2004 15:39:44 -0500, Yousuf <bbbl67@ezrs.com> wrote:

>ykhan wrote:
>> Well, it's interesting how we start talking about a subject, and
>> within days there's something new to announce about it. In this case
>> why Nvidia doesn't do a Pentium 4 chipset?
>
>The speculation has begun about the nature of Nvidia's license agreement
>with Intel. Previously it was thought that Nvidia has to pay for it. Now
>they are speculating that Intel just gave it for free in exchange for
>some graphics patents in return.
>
>Nvidia may have Intel Pentium 4 licence for nothing
>http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=19791

I'm having trouble seeing any link between Dell straying to AMD CPUs and
Intel's motivation for licensing the P4 FSB to Nvidia ??

I also can't see what interest there is for Nvidia in licensing their (high
value) proprietary graphics technology to Intel. There's big $$ in
graphics chips, which are at least as complex as a CPU, compared with
chipsets. It sounds awful like this "agreement" is just Intel's way of
tampering with AMD's marketing strategy... nForce being the preferred
"quality" chipset for AMD desktops.

Also funny how, even when Serverworks suggested an intra-company "IP
firewall" between their Intel chipsets and proposed AMD ones, it was *not*
good enough... apparently that doesn't really matter in this case??

Rgds, George Macdonald

"Just because they're paranoid doesn't mean you're not psychotic" - Who, me??
Related resources
November 21, 2004 10:39:46 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

George Macdonald wrote:
> I'm having trouble seeing any link between Dell straying to AMD CPUs and
> Intel's motivation for licensing the P4 FSB to Nvidia ??

You're not alone.

Perhaps they're trying to entice Dell not to leave by having an
integrated high-performance video chipset available for Dell to use?
Integrated video is always cheaper than non-integrated, and having a
high-perf integrated video would give you a little bit of both worlds:
cheap and good. I think a lot of Nforce chipsets are sold on the basis
of their acceptable integrated video performance.

> I also can't see what interest there is for Nvidia in licensing their (high
> value) proprietary graphics technology to Intel. There's big $$ in
> graphics chips, which are at least as complex as a CPU, compared with
> chipsets. It sounds awful like this "agreement" is just Intel's way of
> tampering with AMD's marketing strategy... nForce being the preferred
> "quality" chipset for AMD desktops.

Well, the interest that Nvidia would have is the ability to sell their
chipsets into a larger market. Just hope they don't run into the same
problem that ATI encountered trying to make Intel chipsets too, namely
Intel competing vigorously against them right off the bat.

> Also funny how, even when Serverworks suggested an intra-company "IP
> firewall" between their Intel chipsets and proposed AMD ones, it was *not*
> good enough... apparently that doesn't really matter in this case??

That was then, and this is now. Intel is a little bit more desperate
now. It all matters in the timing of announcements.

Yousuf Khan
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
November 22, 2004 4:29:25 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

On Sun, 21 Nov 2004 15:39:44 -0500, Yousuf <bbbl67@ezrs.com> wrote:
>
>ykhan wrote:
>> Well, it's interesting how we start talking about a subject, and
>> within days there's something new to announce about it. In this case
>> why Nvidia doesn't do a Pentium 4 chipset?
>
>The speculation has begun about the nature of Nvidia's license agreement
>with Intel. Previously it was thought that Nvidia has to pay for it. Now
>they are speculating that Intel just gave it for free in exchange for
>some graphics patents in return.
>
>Nvidia may have Intel Pentium 4 licence for nothing
>http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=19791

It wouldn't surprised me at all. The deal was described by both
parties as a "broad cross-licensing agreement". I'm sure that nVidia
has a rather large patent-portfolio. With Intel now being the #1
graphics chip producer in the world, nVidia probably figured "If you
can't beat, might as well join 'em". That plus if they didn't do so,
ATI probably would have.

The agreement might work out fine for both companies. It lets Intel
continue building their integrated graphics chipset, which are pretty
much the norm for all business computers, without worry of lawsuits
dealing with patent infringement (they probably already were
borderline infringing on some overly broad patent... just about
everyone is these days it would seem). Meanwhile it lets nVidia get
into the larger market that they probably need to be in to keep their
motherboard chipset line profitable. I haven't seen any numbers, but
I would guess that it would be rather tough making money when they're
only selling something like 5 or 6% of the worlds chipsets. With
Intel-compatible chips, they have the potential of increasing this
considerably.

Of course, that's just the theory of it... We'll have to see how
reality plays out.

-------------
Tony Hill
hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
November 24, 2004 5:23:58 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

On Mon, 22 Nov 2004 01:29:25 -0500, Tony Hill
<hilla_nospam_20@yahoo.ca> wrote:

>On Sun, 21 Nov 2004 15:39:44 -0500, Yousuf <bbbl67@ezrs.com> wrote:
>>
>>ykhan wrote:
>>> Well, it's interesting how we start talking about a subject, and
>>> within days there's something new to announce about it. In this case
>>> why Nvidia doesn't do a Pentium 4 chipset?
>>
>>The speculation has begun about the nature of Nvidia's license agreement
>>with Intel. Previously it was thought that Nvidia has to pay for it. Now
>>they are speculating that Intel just gave it for free in exchange for
>>some graphics patents in return.
>>
>>Nvidia may have Intel Pentium 4 licence for nothing
>>http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=19791
>
>It wouldn't surprised me at all. The deal was described by both
>parties as a "broad cross-licensing agreement". I'm sure that nVidia
>has a rather large patent-portfolio. With Intel now being the #1
>graphics chip producer in the world, nVidia probably figured "If you
>can't beat, might as well join 'em". That plus if they didn't do so,
>ATI probably would have.
>
>The agreement might work out fine for both companies. It lets Intel
>continue building their integrated graphics chipset, which are pretty
>much the norm for all business computers, without worry of lawsuits
>dealing with patent infringement (they probably already were
>borderline infringing on some overly broad patent... just about
>everyone is these days it would seem). Meanwhile it lets nVidia get
>into the larger market that they probably need to be in to keep their
>motherboard chipset line profitable. I haven't seen any numbers, but
>I would guess that it would be rather tough making money when they're
>only selling something like 5 or 6% of the worlds chipsets. With
>Intel-compatible chips, they have the potential of increasing this
>considerably.
>
>Of course, that's just the theory of it... We'll have to see how
>reality plays out.
>
>-------------
>Tony Hill
>hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca

While I am not sure what is in it for NVDA, except for the entry
ticket to already overcrowded P4 chipset market, INTC gets a lot.
Firstly, the not-so-usual these days opportunity to stick it to AMD.
Secondly, and probably most importantly, SLI technology for their own
future (and probably not-so-distant future) chipsets. When AMD SLI
boards get released, P4 (even Extremely Expensive) results in games,
already badly lagging, would look nothing short of piss-poor compared
to the latest AthlonFX (55 or whatever number will be released by
then) combined with 2x top of the line GF Ultra. Ditto for high-end
graphics apps - one of the few fields where P4 is somewhat competitive
against AMD. This deal, if INTC chipset engineers move fast, gives P4
(and later PM derivatives) a fighting chance.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
November 25, 2004 3:53:37 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

"nobody@nowhere.net" <mygarbage2000@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:D 7r7q0l0kmv6d71nntnr5vipr0femgjl67@4ax.com...
> On Mon, 22 Nov 2004 01:29:25 -0500, Tony Hill
> <hilla_nospam_20@yahoo.ca> wrote:
>
> >On Sun, 21 Nov 2004 15:39:44 -0500, Yousuf <bbbl67@ezrs.com> wrote:
> >>
> >>ykhan wrote:
> >>> Well, it's interesting how we start talking about a subject, and
> >>> within days there's something new to announce about it. In this case
> >>> why Nvidia doesn't do a Pentium 4 chipset?
> >>
> >>The speculation has begun about the nature of Nvidia's license agreement
> >>with Intel. Previously it was thought that Nvidia has to pay for it. Now
> >>they are speculating that Intel just gave it for free in exchange for
> >>some graphics patents in return.
> >>
> >>Nvidia may have Intel Pentium 4 licence for nothing
> >>http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=19791
> >
> >It wouldn't surprised me at all. The deal was described by both
> >parties as a "broad cross-licensing agreement". I'm sure that nVidia
> >has a rather large patent-portfolio. With Intel now being the #1
> >graphics chip producer in the world, nVidia probably figured "If you
> >can't beat, might as well join 'em". That plus if they didn't do so,
> >ATI probably would have.
> >
> >The agreement might work out fine for both companies. It lets Intel
> >continue building their integrated graphics chipset, which are pretty
> >much the norm for all business computers, without worry of lawsuits
> >dealing with patent infringement (they probably already were
> >borderline infringing on some overly broad patent... just about
> >everyone is these days it would seem). Meanwhile it lets nVidia get
> >into the larger market that they probably need to be in to keep their
> >motherboard chipset line profitable. I haven't seen any numbers, but
> >I would guess that it would be rather tough making money when they're
> >only selling something like 5 or 6% of the worlds chipsets. With
> >Intel-compatible chips, they have the potential of increasing this
> >considerably.
> >
> >Of course, that's just the theory of it... We'll have to see how
> >reality plays out.
> >
> >-------------
> >Tony Hill
> >hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
>
> While I am not sure what is in it for NVDA, except for the entry
> ticket to already overcrowded P4 chipset market, INTC gets a lot.
> Firstly, the not-so-usual these days opportunity to stick it to AMD.
> Secondly, and probably most importantly, SLI technology for their own
> future (and probably not-so-distant future) chipsets. When AMD SLI
> boards get released, P4 (even Extremely Expensive) results in games,
> already badly lagging, would look nothing short of piss-poor compared
> to the latest AthlonFX (55 or whatever number will be released by
> then) combined with 2x top of the line GF Ultra. Ditto for high-end
> graphics apps - one of the few fields where P4 is somewhat competitive
> against AMD. This deal, if INTC chipset engineers move fast, gives P4
> (and later PM derivatives) a fighting chance.

No dude, Hill got it right. A much bigger market to make money in for
NVidia. Intel can do SLI on their Xeon motherboards. SLI is not going to
be a mainstream thing. It's for high end gaming or high end workstations.
Getting the technology for SLI and other NVidia technologies is a boost for
Intel since they make integrated graphics chips. NVidia, thus, gets into
the P4 market which is a lucrative one. Crackhead AMD fans can't see past
their noses. Trying to make arguments about this being a ploy to keep Dell
from selling AMD chips just sounds dumb.
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
November 25, 2004 10:05:00 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

On Wed, 24 Nov 2004 02:23:58 GMT, "nobody@nowhere.net"
<mygarbage2000@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>On Mon, 22 Nov 2004 01:29:25 -0500, Tony Hill
><hilla_nospam_20@yahoo.ca> wrote:
>
>>The agreement might work out fine for both companies. It lets Intel
>>continue building their integrated graphics chipset, which are pretty
>>much the norm for all business computers, without worry of lawsuits
>>dealing with patent infringement (they probably already were
>>borderline infringing on some overly broad patent... just about
>>everyone is these days it would seem). Meanwhile it lets nVidia get
>>into the larger market that they probably need to be in to keep their
>>motherboard chipset line profitable. I haven't seen any numbers, but
>>I would guess that it would be rather tough making money when they're
>>only selling something like 5 or 6% of the worlds chipsets. With
>>Intel-compatible chips, they have the potential of increasing this
>>considerably.
>>
>>Of course, that's just the theory of it... We'll have to see how
>>reality plays out.
>
>While I am not sure what is in it for NVDA, except for the entry
>ticket to already overcrowded P4 chipset market, INTC gets a lot.
>Firstly, the not-so-usual these days opportunity to stick it to AMD.
>Secondly, and probably most importantly, SLI technology for their own
>future (and probably not-so-distant future) chipsets. When AMD SLI
>boards get released, P4 (even Extremely Expensive) results in games,
>already badly lagging, would look nothing short of piss-poor compared
>to the latest AthlonFX (55 or whatever number will be released by
>then) combined with 2x top of the line GF Ultra. Ditto for high-end
>graphics apps - one of the few fields where P4 is somewhat competitive
>against AMD. This deal, if INTC chipset engineers move fast, gives P4
>(and later PM derivatives) a fighting chance.

I don't think that SLI will really be all that big of a factor, given
that even the most extreme gamers will find it tough to purchase a
system with an $800 processor and TWO $600 video cards. $2000 before
you even start with the rest of the components? There might be a few
bragging rights tossed around, but even those bragging are aware that
this is a VERY limited niche. I do expect nVidia to play in this
niche, but only for limited sales.

Besides, I'm VERY certain that if Intel wanted to design their own
SLI-capable chipset they could do so. After all, they are the primary
designer of PCI Express in the first place!

The P4 chipset market actually isn't all that crowded these days, less
so than it used to be. VIA is hurting rather badly here due to their
restricted license and lack of a decent mobile chip. ALi has faded to
obscurity and SiS is still stuck in the very low-end of the market.
There are definitely niches available, both on the desktop side and on
the mobile side.

For example, ATI seems to be doing quite well in laptops, taking a
fairly significant amount of the non-Centrino sales. Just have a look
at Toshiba's line-up sometime, it's mostly either Pentium-M + Intel
chipset (ie Centrino) or a different processor (mobile P4 or Celeron)
with ATI's chipsets. Since many of these notebooks already use either
an ATI or nVidia video chip alongside, it might be somewhat easier to
get into this market. nVidia also has the reputation that can get
them into the workstation market, something which all the other
non-Intel chipset manufacturer's (even ATI) lack.

-------------
Tony Hill
hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
November 25, 2004 3:28:46 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

Tony Hill <hilla_nospam_20@yahoo.ca> wrote in message news:<bfhbq0tava1npupc3p0hbbi408oueiu18e@4ax.com>...

> Besides, I'm VERY certain that if Intel wanted to design their own
> SLI-capable chipset they could do so. After all, they are the primary
> designer of PCI Express in the first place!

It's probably not the connector side of the PCIe that requires any
patents in designing. It's the video cards themselves which will
require some patents. All of the cooperative intelligence of the video
cards resides entirely within the video cards, the PCIe interface just
acts as a medium for communications. Even ATI and VIA, Nvidia's
rivals, will have SLI-capable chipsets without requiring an Nvidia
license.

Yousuf Khan
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
November 25, 2004 5:00:29 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

On Thu, 25 Nov 2004 00:53:37 -0700, "Judd" <IhateSpam@stopspam.com> wrote:

>
>"nobody@nowhere.net" <mygarbage2000@hotmail.com> wrote in message
>news:D 7r7q0l0kmv6d71nntnr5vipr0femgjl67@4ax.com...
>>
>> While I am not sure what is in it for NVDA, except for the entry
>> ticket to already overcrowded P4 chipset market, INTC gets a lot.
>> Firstly, the not-so-usual these days opportunity to stick it to AMD.
>> Secondly, and probably most importantly, SLI technology for their own
>> future (and probably not-so-distant future) chipsets. When AMD SLI
>> boards get released, P4 (even Extremely Expensive) results in games,
>> already badly lagging, would look nothing short of piss-poor compared
>> to the latest AthlonFX (55 or whatever number will be released by
>> then) combined with 2x top of the line GF Ultra. Ditto for high-end
>> graphics apps - one of the few fields where P4 is somewhat competitive
>> against AMD. This deal, if INTC chipset engineers move fast, gives P4
>> (and later PM derivatives) a fighting chance.
>
>No dude, Hill got it right. A much bigger market to make money in for
>NVidia. Intel can do SLI on their Xeon motherboards. SLI is not going to
>be a mainstream thing. It's for high end gaming or high end workstations.
>Getting the technology for SLI and other NVidia technologies is a boost for
>Intel since they make integrated graphics chips.

SLI on integrated graphics? Where did you get this fantasy? You'll be
telling us next that Intel is going to compete with FireGL and Quadro with
integrated graphics.

> NVidia, thus, gets into
>the P4 market which is a lucrative one. Crackhead AMD fans can't see past
>their noses.

Lucrative??... with chipsets?? I guess zombied Intel zealots just can't
grasp the fact that they are on the trailing edge.

> Trying to make arguments about this being a ploy to keep Dell
>from selling AMD chips just sounds dumb.

Yes but it's more likely to be a ploy to tamper with AMD's marketing
strategy. Without a credible chipset & graphics chip combo for AMD64/EM64T
workstation use, which Intanium has largely lost, Intel would lose that
sector completely... and *that* is lucrative *and* prestigious. Kill two
birds...........

Rgds, George Macdonald

"Just because they're paranoid doesn't mean you're not psychotic" - Who, me??
November 26, 2004 12:00:07 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

On Thu, 25 Nov 2004 07:05:00 -0500, Tony Hill
<hilla_nospam_20@yahoo.ca> wrote:
....snip...(preceding posts deleted)
>I don't think that SLI will really be all that big of a factor, given
>that even the most extreme gamers will find it tough to purchase a
>system with an $800 processor and TWO $600 video cards. $2000 before
>you even start with the rest of the components? There might be a few
>bragging rights tossed around, but even those bragging are aware that
>this is a VERY limited niche. I do expect nVidia to play in this
>niche, but only for limited sales.
This is logical, but purchasing decisions sometimes are based on
emotion. Just go to your local Ford dealership and look at the GT
proudly displayed front and center. How many of those does the dealer
actually sell? My bet is - low single digits, most likely 0. How
much it helps to move the lowly Focuses, Escapes, and Rangers? So
much that it makes sense to Ford to sell the GTs at a loss
(considering development costs, Ford will probably never see any
profits off it). Who in his right mind (I mean regular mortal
taxpayers, not some heirs or jackpot winners) would splurge $139,995
on a Ford? Same goes to P4EE+SLI. While only few will be actually
sold, they'll give Intel bragging rights and sell many more lower-end
systems.

>Besides, I'm VERY certain that if Intel wanted to design their own
>SLI-capable chipset they could do so. After all, they are the primary
>designer of PCI Express in the first place!
Being technically capable is one thing. Having the license is the
other. I am almost sure NVDA patented the technology and trademarked
SLI, or could do so to prevent others from using it. Besides, it may
be easier, faster, and thus economically sensible, to just copy
existing technology rather than trying to develop it from scratch.

>The P4 chipset market actually isn't all that crowded these days, less
>so than it used to be. VIA is hurting rather badly here due to their
>restricted license and lack of a decent mobile chip. ALi has faded to
>obscurity and SiS is still stuck in the very low-end of the market.
>There are definitely niches available, both on the desktop side and on
>the mobile side.
NVDA has cornered the high-end AMD market and has good positions in
midrange AMD. But P4 chipsets is quite a different game.
In the high end, NVDA will have to compete against INTC on both
performance and customer loyalty. Intel admittedly knows a thing or
two about making high-performing chipsets, especially using their
proprietary FSB, DDR2, and PCIe. Matching it, while not impossible,
would be a tough job. As for customer loyalty and brand power, Intel
is in the league of its own.
In lower end, it will be a fierce competition on price against VIA,
SIS, ATI, and once again Intel. Judging by what we see in AMD chipset
market, price is not the selling point of Nforce chipsets. Besides,
low end usually demands for integrated graphics, and Nvidia just
decided to drop the graphics from AMD line of chipsets. Will it
re-introduce the graphics into P4 line, considering that P4
northbridge must have its own memory controller unlike A64 one, and P4
FSB is more complex than hypertransport bus? Could it be that newer
Nvidia graphics core takes too much of the valuable die real estate,
or produces too much heat to be easily integrated into the
northbridge, or both, and the older one (GF2MX) just does not make the
cut by today's standards?
>For example, ATI seems to be doing quite well in laptops, taking a
>fairly significant amount of the non-Centrino sales. Just have a look
>at Toshiba's line-up sometime, it's mostly either Pentium-M + Intel
>chipset (ie Centrino) or a different processor (mobile P4 or Celeron)
>with ATI's chipsets. Since many of these notebooks already use either
>an ATI or nVidia video chip alongside, it might be somewhat easier to
>get into this market. nVidia also has the reputation that can get
>them into the workstation market, something which all the other
>non-Intel chipset manufacturer's (even ATI) lack.
>
>-------------
>Tony Hill
>hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
Anonymous
a b à CPUs
November 26, 2004 6:45:43 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.chips,comp.sys.intel (More info?)

On Thu, 25 Nov 2004 21:00:07 GMT, "nobody@nowhere.net"
<mygarbage2000@hotmail.com> wrote:
>
>On Thu, 25 Nov 2004 07:05:00 -0500, Tony Hill
><hilla_nospam_20@yahoo.ca> wrote:
>...snip...(preceding posts deleted)
>>I don't think that SLI will really be all that big of a factor, given
>>that even the most extreme gamers will find it tough to purchase a
>>system with an $800 processor and TWO $600 video cards. $2000 before
>>you even start with the rest of the components? There might be a few
>>bragging rights tossed around, but even those bragging are aware that
>>this is a VERY limited niche. I do expect nVidia to play in this
>>niche, but only for limited sales.
> This is logical, but purchasing decisions sometimes are based on
>emotion. Just go to your local Ford dealership and look at the GT
>proudly displayed front and center. How many of those does the dealer
>actually sell? My bet is - low single digits, most likely 0. How
>much it helps to move the lowly Focuses, Escapes, and Rangers? So
>much that it makes sense to Ford to sell the GTs at a loss
>(considering development costs, Ford will probably never see any
>profits off it). Who in his right mind (I mean regular mortal
>taxpayers, not some heirs or jackpot winners) would splurge $139,995
>on a Ford? Same goes to P4EE+SLI. While only few will be actually
>sold, they'll give Intel bragging rights and sell many more lower-end
>systems.

That only works to a certain extent. The mainstream market (ie no one
in this newsgroup! :> ) doesn't get all that emotional about PCs like
they might about something like a car. In fact, most people won't
even see the numbers, let alone care much about them.

>>Besides, I'm VERY certain that if Intel wanted to design their own
>>SLI-capable chipset they could do so. After all, they are the primary
>>designer of PCI Express in the first place!
> Being technically capable is one thing. Having the license is the
>other. I am almost sure NVDA patented the technology and trademarked
>SLI, or could do so to prevent others from using it. Besides, it may
>be easier, faster, and thus economically sensible, to just copy
>existing technology rather than trying to develop it from scratch.

ATi and VIA are also planning on doing SLI chipsets, so there's
nothing too specific to nVidia here. The smarts are ALL in the video
card, from the motherboard side of things it's pretty much just two
PCI 16x connectors. If Intel really wanted to do this, I'm quite
certain that they could, regardless of anything nVidia might say.
Worst-case might be that the term "SLI" might be trade-marked, in
which case they would have to come up with some other name.

I suppose nVidia could go to great lengths to try and prevent their
video cards from working in SLI setups on non-nVidia platforms, but
that would be utterly moronic. Considering nVidia makes probably a
hundred dollars or more on EACH of the video chipsets in an SLI setup
(assuming a top-end card, the only place it really makes sense), as
compared to pennies on a motherboard chipset, they would have to be
completely stupid to try such a thing.

>>The P4 chipset market actually isn't all that crowded these days, less
>>so than it used to be. VIA is hurting rather badly here due to their
>>restricted license and lack of a decent mobile chip. ALi has faded to
>>obscurity and SiS is still stuck in the very low-end of the market.
>>There are definitely niches available, both on the desktop side and on
>>the mobile side.
> NVDA has cornered the high-end AMD market and has good positions in
>midrange AMD. But P4 chipsets is quite a different game.
> In the high end, NVDA will have to compete against INTC on both
>performance and customer loyalty. Intel admittedly knows a thing or
>two about making high-performing chipsets, especially using their
>proprietary FSB, DDR2, and PCIe. Matching it, while not impossible,
>would be a tough job. As for customer loyalty and brand power, Intel
>is in the league of its own.

Traditionally there's been good reason to stick with Intel chipsets
when buying Intel processors. Even today I wouldn't bother with a
non-Intel chipset if I were to buy an Intel processor, with the
possible exception of ATI (particularly in laptops).

> In lower end, it will be a fierce competition on price against VIA,
>SIS, ATI, and once again Intel.

As mentioned previously, VIA is kind of hurting on the Intel side of
things while SiS is stuck in the very bottom-end of things. If you
look at HP, for example, they don't sell a single non-Intel chipset
for any of their desktop systems using Intel processors. ATI,
meanwhile, seems to be really focusing on mobile chipsets (and doing
reasonably well at such).

The real competition on the low-end, as you correctly point out, is
Intel itself. An i845GV or i865GV chipset sells for DIRT-CHEAP,
there's no way nVidia is going to make any money by undercutting them
on price there.

> Judging by what we see in AMD chipset
>market, price is not the selling point of Nforce chipsets. Besides,
>low end usually demands for integrated graphics, and Nvidia just
>decided to drop the graphics from AMD line of chipsets. Will it
>re-introduce the graphics into P4 line, considering that P4
>northbridge must have its own memory controller unlike A64 one, and P4
>FSB is more complex than hypertransport bus?

The P4 bus does lend itself rather better to integrated graphics when
compared to the Athlon64. It would seem to make sense for nVidia to
have some sort of integrated memory controller on their P4 chipsets.

> Could it be that newer
>Nvidia graphics core takes too much of the valuable die real estate,
>or produces too much heat to be easily integrated into the
>northbridge, or both, and the older one (GF2MX) just does not make the
>cut by today's standards?

The integrated graphics of the nForce2 (basically a GeForce4 MX) is
probably still reasonably competitive when compared to Intel's i915G
integrated graphics, let alone the comparatively weak i845G or i865G.
However you may be on to something on the die-size thing. According
to Anand Tech's review of the ATI integrated chipset, the integrated
video portion takes up almost 90% of the chipset.

http://www.anandtech.com/cpuchipsets/showdoc.aspx?i=226...

Now, obviously integrating video allows you to sell chipsets for a
higher price, perhaps making it worthwhile, but a die that is 8 to 9
times bigger is going to cost you a good bit extra.


Still, the more I look at this, the more I think that nVidia will
mainly stick to a couple niches. In particular I suspect they'll
target laptops and workstations first and foremost, not worrying so
much about desktops, except perhaps on the top-end of the enthusiast
market, which isn't that far removed from workstations (at least from
the chipset perspective).

-------------
Tony Hill
hilla <underscore> 20 <at> yahoo <dot> ca
!