San Jose (CA) - Nvidia and Intel signed a patent cross-license agreement covering "multiple product lines and product generations". Nvidia also licensed Intel's front-side bus technology which will enable the company to offer its nForce chipset for Intel platforms for the first time.
Originally introduced in the framework of a strategic relationship with AMD, Nvidia's nForce chipset will extend its reach beyond the currently supported platforms of AMD's Athlon 64 FX, Athlon 64, and Sempron processors. The cross license agreement with Intel allows Nvidia to also offer its chipset for Intel's FSBs, which will significantly increase the revenue potential for nForce.
Intel owns about 66 percent of the integrated graphic chipset market while both Nvidia and competitor ATI stand at two percent, according to estimates by market research firm Mercury research. Intel therefore is likely not to see a dramatic drop of its share when Nvidia will start to offer nForce for its platforms. However, the company will be able to gain more credibility in performance-oriented applications such as gaming, which especially refers to the ability to run more than one graphic card within a single computer system: Nvidia's Scalable Link Interface (SLI) was launched this week and currently is the only available technology to combine graphic card performance.
"Today's agreements are significant for both companies and, more importantly, represent a win for our mutual customers who now have more choices for enhancing the PC experience," said Louis Burns, Intel vice president and general manager, Desktop Products Group, in a prepared statement.
As Nvidia, ATI also is in a license agreement with Intel at this time.