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Nvidia CEO Shares Company's CPU Strategy

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 69 comments

Not x86, it's all about ARM now.

Nvidia's been rumored to be looking to get into the CPU business, perhaps in an effort to compete better against AMD with ATI in-house, as well as Intel. But on that front, Nvidia would require an x86 license; and the graphics maker isn't on the best terms with Intel at the moment.

Despite that, Nvidia still has a CPU strategy – one that involves a completely different market.

"Our CPU strategy is ARM," Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang told Cnet in an interview. "ARM is the fastest growing processor architecture in the world today. ARM supports (Google's) Android best. And Android is the fastest growing OS in the world today."

The end result is Tegra, an ARM CPU paired to Nvidia's GPU technology. The first generation Tegra is already on the market in every Microsoft Zune HD, but the second generation, dual-core Tegra 2 has yet to hit any commercial product.

As for Nvidia's chipset business, the license problems with Intel have effectively killed that division at the company.

"They (Intel) have disrupted our chipset business," Huang said. "The damage has been done. We've been out of the chipset business for well over a year, so if this got resolved we're not expecting to ramp back up the thousand engineers that we had working on chipsets."

Discuss
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Top Comments
  • 30 Hide
    pbrigido , August 16, 2010 2:04 PM
    Get them in the CPU market! More competition!!!
  • 22 Hide
    jplarson , August 16, 2010 2:29 PM
    It's a real shame that Intel is able to hold onto the x86 licensing... that effectively creates a monopoly. Granted they own the intellectual property of it, but it costs the market competition.
  • 20 Hide
    denial_ , August 16, 2010 2:13 PM
    Dam Intel with their hand on x86 technologie killing CPU competition!!
Other Comments
  • 30 Hide
    pbrigido , August 16, 2010 2:04 PM
    Get them in the CPU market! More competition!!!
  • 17 Hide
    meat81 , August 16, 2010 2:12 PM
    i know i am beating a dead horse but i would have loved to see Nvidia's X58 chipset offering.... F-ing Intel
  • 20 Hide
    denial_ , August 16, 2010 2:13 PM
    Dam Intel with their hand on x86 technologie killing CPU competition!!
  • -7 Hide
    silentq , August 16, 2010 2:18 PM
    i dunno guys, i dont really feel like doubling my electrical bill... i probably would not need a furnace in the winter with couple of fermi's and nvidia cpu in my tower though...
  • 20 Hide
    allenpan , August 16, 2010 2:28 PM
    it will be wise to merge with VIA or DM&P Electronics's "Vortex86", DNP is a much cheaper company who also own x86 lisences
  • -3 Hide
    L0tus , August 16, 2010 2:28 PM
    silentqi dunno guys, i dont really feel like doubling my electrical bill... i probably would not need a furnace in the winter with couple of fermi's and nvidia cpu in my tower though...

    ...hell you wouldn't even need a stove/microwave...just fire prime95 up and watch those sausages sizzle. Dinner in 3 minutes.

    ...and as for intel, they're behaviour is obviously monopolistic. Surely there are antitrust laws against that sort of crap. And when is that license expiring?
  • 22 Hide
    jplarson , August 16, 2010 2:29 PM
    It's a real shame that Intel is able to hold onto the x86 licensing... that effectively creates a monopoly. Granted they own the intellectual property of it, but it costs the market competition.
  • 5 Hide
    Pei-chen , August 16, 2010 2:30 PM
    jtt283Killed the chipset division...hmmm, does this look to anyone else like the end of SLI on AMD platforms?

    I assume those SLI engineer will just go work for the graphic division.

    BTW, it make sense to target the ARM market instead of x86 consider how many things could have a simple processor inside. x86 is good for PC but the market is growing slowly.
  • 14 Hide
    LORD_ORION , August 16, 2010 2:31 PM
    x86 licenses are non-transferable. Intel isn't stupid.
  • 5 Hide
    tu_illegalamigo , August 16, 2010 2:35 PM
    I think that nvidia is targeting the smartphone/handheld electronics market, and letting AMD and Intel duke it out on x86/64 Desktops until the end of time. I think that`s also probably a good idea because taking any market share from intel or AMD would probably be rather difficult, when there`s a burgeoning market that Intel and AMD have not dedicated much time/effort/money to yet.
  • 3 Hide
    jesman1985 , August 16, 2010 2:37 PM
    its one thing to have a strategy.. its another to put it into full effect.. i honestly feel they'd lose money if they were to go full force into the cpu market.. look at the competition.. intels performance and amd's price/performance ratio.. they need to step thier gpu game up first then talk about expanding into cpu's..but thats just my opinon..
  • -3 Hide
    superblahman123 , August 16, 2010 2:38 PM
    greghomeI think I can see the future.....................................Nvidia Quadriplex8 4.2ghz vs AMD phenomIVx8 4.8ghz vs Intel corei12 5.0ghz


    That should be today, but they gotta stretch their profits as far as they can with as old of technology as they can. If I see any processor manufactured to 5.0Ghz within the next 10 years, I will eat my shoe, it just won't happen as long as everyone thinks that more cores is what will speed their computers.
  • 14 Hide
    tokenz , August 16, 2010 2:45 PM
    LORD_ORIONx86 licenses are non-transferable. Intel isn't stupid.


    Actually they just settled in court, and now they are transferable.
  • 8 Hide
    COLGeek , August 16, 2010 2:58 PM
    Nvidia is making a smart move to take advantage of a market where they might actually gain some market share. Going up against Intel or AMD in the x86 market would be a losing proposition. This is actually a pretty decent strategy on Nvidia's part.
  • 7 Hide
    ares1214 , August 16, 2010 2:59 PM
    GOOD MOVE! Android takes down Microsoft, Nvidia/AMD take down Intel, thats 2 empires down in one day! :D  But realistically, this will either be the best thing Nvidia did, or destroy them. If they focus less the gpu market, then ATI has a monopoly. Like ATI, but then they will be the new empire if that happens.
  • 12 Hide
    7amood , August 16, 2010 3:27 PM
    " . . . we're not expecting to ramp back up the thousand engineers that we had working on chipsets."

    THOUSAND ENGINEERS!!!??? ok... is this guy bluffing?
  • -7 Hide
    ta152h , August 16, 2010 3:37 PM
    I think what's being lost here is that NVIDIA probably can't build a competitive x86 processor even if they were legally able to. Making a GPU is relatively simple and doesn't approach the complexity of making an x86 CPU that is competitive with Nehalem based processors, and successors.

    Even AMD, who has been in the processor market forever, can't make a competitive processor, and lives on the bottom like a catfish, eating the excrement and fallen algae. NVIDIA would have a problem even doing that, and they be battling AMD for the carrion. Already, AMD is lucky if they are profitable with their CPUs, so it's doubtful NVIDIA wants to even attempt that. It's a brutal market to be in, and the competition from Intel is extremely strong. NVIDIA wants no part of it.
  • -2 Hide
    ta152h , August 16, 2010 3:40 PM
    zipzoomflyhighIntel basically screwed themselves out of the graphics market by forcing Nvidia out of the chipset business. Nvidia was able to concentrate on graphics and that made Intel cancel their gpu plans because they were too far behind to compete in gpu.


    That assumes a company is a person, and isn't more capable of doing more than one thing at a time. That's always the fallacy with that type of thinking. They were separate divisions.

    Also, NVIDIA does not set the standard for GPUs, ATI does. Intel forcing NVIDIA out of the chipset market didn't make ATI make better GPUs, therefore your conclusion that it had a negative effect on Intel's GPUs is fallacious.

    Also, Intel still sells more GPUs than NVIDIA or AMD. IGPs still dominate the market and probably will more and more.
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