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Nvidia Looking to Buy Into VIA?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 16 comments

Nvidia could be purchasing a chunk of VIA, which has the possibilities spinning around in our minds.

Subject to shareholder approval, VIA will soon go ahead with a private placement of up to 300 million shares NT$9-12 ($0.27-0.35), which aims to boost the company’s capital.

According to various reports, though none entirely official, Nvidia is the forerunner to pick up a sizable portion of those shares.

Such a development, while interesting, wouldn’t be completely surprising. Given now clearly publicized cold war between Intel and Nvidia over the former’s Atom CPU and the latter’s Ion platform.

It’s no secret that the second generation Ion platform will support the VIA Nano (as well as the full Intel line), so Nvidia could just be investing in its own future.

There could also be lines drawn to Nvidia’s interest in entering the CPU market. Nvidia’s Michael Hara, senior VP of investor relations, said during a conference an Nvidia-branded x86 CPU is a certainly within the next several years. “The question is not so much I think if; I think the question is when," said Hara. “I think some time down the road it makes sense to take the same level of integration that we’ve done with Tegra."

Nvidia partnering with VIA could conveniently skirt by the issue of obtaining an x86 license from Intel, something VIA already holds.

We’ll know more after VIA’s investor’s meeting in June.

Discuss
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  • 7 Hide
    deltatux , March 30, 2009 4:36 PM
    This should really push VIA processors to the forefront of many consumers if NVIDIA chooses to terminate the ION platform on Intel processors. These VIA processors are technically superior to the Intel Atoms.

    Hopefully this deal goes through because we'll see a lot better competition to this Intel dominated market.
  • 4 Hide
    shabodah , March 30, 2009 4:52 PM
    I can't believe Nvidia didn't buy Via as soon as the AMD/ATI deal was finalized. Intel has a long history of screwing its partners, so no one should be surprised about this latest attempt of theirs.
  • -3 Hide
    megamanx00 , March 30, 2009 5:03 PM
    Well, the x86 license is like non transferable so I don't think nVidia can buy VIA outright, but they can buy a controlling share. It would be interesting to see what comes from this. I think that AM2 and AM3 are open platforms so it would be interesting to see a VIA designed CPU on an nVidia AM3 motherboard. We shall see what happens with everything.
  • 0 Hide
    megamanx00 , March 30, 2009 5:09 PM
    Well I know that the HT protocol is open so I guess VIA could use whatever new fangled socket they wanted, just as long as the CPU used HT protocol to connect to chipsets nVidia developed to use with AMD CPUs. Well that and as long as it had an integrated memory controller. VIA with a 750a chipset anyone?
  • 1 Hide
    stinkygood , March 30, 2009 5:19 PM
    Getting access to X86 technology for 100 millions sounds like a sweet deal, when you think that AMD spent in the billions to get ATI's graphic technoloiges.

    And if Via remains as a company they not only get new market share but get around one thing that has always seemed to dog them - crappy chip sets
  • 4 Hide
    scarpa , March 30, 2009 5:42 PM
    Nvidia entering CPU market is welcomed.
  • 3 Hide
    knickle , March 30, 2009 5:44 PM
    When ever nVidia gets their fingers into anything, support for the legacy brand products promptly stop. For example, when 3dfx was bought out, driver support vanished for anything labled 3dfx. When they bought out ULI, it was the same story with the chipsets.

    You have all been warned. :p 
  • -1 Hide
    allenpan , March 30, 2009 5:52 PM
    again who has VIA plateform anymore? beside
  • 1 Hide
    knickle , March 30, 2009 9:00 PM
    allenpanagain who has VIA plateform anymore? beside

    I have a Mini ITX board by VIA with a VIA CPU on it. This is installed in my car and runs the entertainment, GPS, and a few other gadgets... all off a mere 100 watts (including the touch screen).

    I was thinking of updating to something newer since what I have is over 4.5 years old, but now that nVidia is clawing in, I may have to wait until after the transition for fear of no support on legacy products.
  • 2 Hide
    jerreece , March 30, 2009 11:13 PM
    All I have to say is, that it'd be nice to have three choices in CPUs. Would be very good for overall competition. :) 

    I will say though, I probably won't be buying a first generation nVidia CPU when they come out. ;)  I'd rather wait until the bugs and such get worked out.
  • -4 Hide
    apache_lives , March 31, 2009 11:05 AM
    sorry but dont trust nvidia or intel - VIA chipsets are poor at best and nvidia video/chipset products are poor at best too - going to take a bit to get my trust back

    on the lighter side of things a well placed product combo (efficent cpu and chipset) will come in handy, and i dont like the 945 chipsets intel uses atm - not flexible, 1 ram slot etc

    out of interest, what stops nvidia designing a cpu (giving the design to via) and via producing it indirectly?
  • 1 Hide
    hack__you , March 31, 2009 1:38 PM
    It will be called NVIA.....

    lo....l
  • 0 Hide
    Judguh , March 31, 2009 3:19 PM
    shabodahI can't believe Nvidia didn't buy Via as soon as the AMD/ATI deal was finalized. Intel has a long history of screwing its partners, so no one should be surprised about this latest attempt of theirs.


    You can never trust a company that has the majority of the market share if you plan to partner, obtain a license, etc from them.
  • 0 Hide
    matt_b , March 31, 2009 3:46 PM
    jerreeceAll I have to say is, that it'd be nice to have three choices in CPUs. Would be very good for overall competition. I will say though, I probably won't be buying a first generation nVidia CPU when they come out. I'd rather wait until the bugs and such get worked out.

    There has almost always been three or more choices of x86 chip makers.

    Personally, I would like it if Nvidia kept their claws off of VIA. I usually don't side with a company that has a reputation of tearing an acquired company apart (Microsoft and EA are the main two coming to mind). To be honest, I am surprised at how well AMD has done with ATI. They have kept the name and brand well alive and invested in a healthy manner. I can just see Nvidia on the road to a monopoly in ten years time. They have been going after (or attempting to) companies at a rather rapid rate these past several years.
  • 0 Hide
    sonofliberty08 , April 1, 2009 5:40 AM
    EA ruin the westwood and maxis ......
  • 0 Hide
    apache_lives , April 1, 2009 11:56 AM
    "sorry but dont trust nvidia or intel - VIA chipsets are poor at best and nvidia video/chipset products are poor at best too - going to take a bit to get my trust back"

    sorry ment Nvidia or VIA - both poor chipset makers, Intel is 100%, just hot/power hungry for netbooks, but cheap etc so