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Nvidia CEO on x86 Project: "Haven't Found It Yet"

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 21 comments

Is Nvidia working on a CPU?

With both Intel and AMD working towards integrating GPU and CPU together, Nvidia is left standing on its own with its graphics specialty. This lead to rumors that Nvidia was looking to get into the x86 processor business and going head to head with its already-big competitors.

Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang told the New York Times that if such a project was going on at his company, he hasn’t found it yet.

“If we have such a product, I haven’t found it yet,” Mr. Huang said. “It’s just not important right now.”

Obviously even if there was work on an x86 CPU at Nvidia (and the CEO managed to find it), Huang still wouldn’t be one to reveal the news in a single interview.

If Nvidia isn’t working on a special x86 project in house, it could partner with Via Technologies, which does hold an x86 license from Intel – a key piece to the puzzle. Nvidia is rumored to be investing heavily into Viasomething also denied by Huang. At any rate, we’ll know for sure at Via’s investor meeting later this month.

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  • 11 Hide
    lucuis , June 9, 2009 9:30 PM
    rockabye“If we have such a product, I haven’t found it yet” What the hell does he do all day that he doesn't know his own company's assets? Either he's incompetent or the company is extremely disorganized.


    ^^ Fail Post. What's he's saying is that IF there is a project as such, that he is unaware of it. Or in other words it doesn't exist. Reading comprehension is important.
Other Comments
  • 3 Hide
    megamanx00 , June 9, 2009 9:28 PM
    Easiest thing to do is get a controlling interest in VIA and sell under them with their X86 license. Of course initially they would be limited to low power markets like the VIA Eden and Intel Atom are aimed at. Since anyone could use hyper transport it is conceivable that they could pair a CPU they develop with any chipset they developed for AMD (like the 780a or 980a)
  • 11 Hide
    lucuis , June 9, 2009 9:30 PM
    rockabye“If we have such a product, I haven’t found it yet” What the hell does he do all day that he doesn't know his own company's assets? Either he's incompetent or the company is extremely disorganized.


    ^^ Fail Post. What's he's saying is that IF there is a project as such, that he is unaware of it. Or in other words it doesn't exist. Reading comprehension is important.
  • 3 Hide
    apache_lives , June 9, 2009 9:30 PM
    Theres more probability of an Intel video card succeeding then nvidia making a decent CPU
  • 2 Hide
    apache_lives , June 9, 2009 9:32 PM
    megamanx00Easiest thing to do is get a controlling interest in VIA and sell under them with their X86 license. Of course initially they would be limited to low power markets like the VIA Eden and Intel Atom are aimed at. Since anyone could use hyper transport it is conceivable that they could pair a CPU they develop with any chipset they developed for AMD (like the 780a or 980a)


    LOL there would be 10x the raw power in the IGP compared to VIA's cpu
  • 5 Hide
    brendano257 , June 9, 2009 9:49 PM
    rockabye“If we have such a product, I haven’t found it yet” What the hell does he do all day that he doesn't know his own company's assets? Either he's incompetent or the company is extremely disorganized.


    I think he's pointing out that there isn't one. It's called SARCASM, he's not dumb of incompetent, he's saying that it's not happening, or if it was it's without his knowledge, AKA, it doesn't exist.

  • 3 Hide
    Ciuy , June 9, 2009 10:13 PM
    poor via isnt what it was before ...
  • 2 Hide
    tipoo , June 9, 2009 10:23 PM
    Am i the only one who thinks a Via-Nvidia merger would be awesome?

    If this whole Larrabee shebang is what its cracked up to be (and i'm not saying it is), Nvidia would be in trouble since they are the only major graphics player without an x86 license. Well, if Larrabee gains significant marketshare, that is.
  • 0 Hide
    Lans , June 10, 2009 12:16 AM
    Via and/or ARM might be the better options for Nvidia short of merging with Intel or other rumored possibilities. Although latter is unlikely with Larrabee. Hey never say never, if Larrabee fails and Nvidia's balance looks healthier?

    As much as I hate the way Nvidia acts, I still think is better for consumers to have them around. Via would give them an x86 license for cheap(er?). ARM would at least give them a CPU but no x86 license. I see great promises for Via/ARM + Nvidia bases products.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 10, 2009 2:02 AM
    I'm not an NVidia fan, and honestly wished AMD and Via would create a perfect netbook/low power pc solution; but I don't want NVidia to get bankrupt neither.
    Despite being an ATI fanboy, and AMD all the way to the Athlon XP(After a small silence the Core2Duo of Intel became my favorite chip of choice); I still want NVidia to survive the battle!
    Even if it meant being an underdog of Intel (like AMD) in the CPU development.

    I don't believe in monopoly; but those 3 companies, as long as they exist create a healthy battle of producing the fastest, the cheapest, the most power efficient, or the most optimized for games or special applications. So I hope NVidia will survive,and not remain left behind as the last graphics card only manufacturer... Or they might end up like S3.
    On the other hand I think NVidia is focusing more on creating compatibility with it's CUDA technology for games and programs on normal CPU's.
    If NVidia found a way to utilize some of the 10Watts of Graphics processing inside a netbook (whatever the graphics card has left over, and the CPU lacks), they could create a very powerful platform,like the ION, but more powerful, while using the same components and have the same TDP.
    CUDA compatibility would be great for gaming or blueray (and even for watching youtube video's) on netbooks! If that could be combined with a processor that has a GPU on chip/die that would be the most power efficient solution available to date!
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 10, 2009 2:07 AM
    lucuis^^ Fail Post. What's he's saying is that IF there is a project as such, that he is unaware of it. Or in other words it doesn't exist. Reading comprehension is important.

    Or perhaps he does not want us to know (yet), could also be true ;-)
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , June 10, 2009 2:13 AM
    LansVia and/or ARM might be the better options for Nvidia short of merging with Intel or other rumored possibilities. Although latter is unlikely with Larrabee. Hey never say never, if Larrabee fails and Nvidia's balance looks healthier?As much as I hate the way Nvidia acts, I still think is better for consumers to have them around. Via would give them an x86 license for cheap(er?). ARM would at least give them a CPU but no x86 license. I see great promises for Via/ARM + Nvidia bases products.

    nvidia does not need a CPU! They are perfectly capable of creating one themselves. They need a x86 licence!
  • 0 Hide
    cryogenic , June 10, 2009 11:36 AM
    rockabye“If we have such a product, I haven’t found it yet” What the hell does he do all day that he doesn't know his own company's assets? Either he's incompetent or the company is extremely disorganized.


    No, this guy he's right. It is a figure of speech, but, but the reason to use such a figure is pretty strange and escapes my reasoning.

    Really why wouldn't you find such a project? a) it doesn't exist b) you simply didn't find it (the company is disorganized) or c) you don't want to/can't find it ;-) (IE it's hidden).

    There's a big difference between saying "there isn't such a project" and "I have no knowledge of such a project", the second implies there are things going on that I have no knowledge off, that I know. (Happens in very big companies).

    The truth is it would be extremely stupid for nVidia to disconsider a CPU+GPU x86 chip in the long run. And they are not that stupid, not by a long shot.
  • -1 Hide
    Kill@dor , June 10, 2009 3:08 PM
    I think its a good time for Nvidia to do this, since they already have a license to do it. What do they have to lose besides making a bad product?
  • 0 Hide
    bounty , June 10, 2009 3:46 PM
    Let me translate...

    “If we have such a product, I haven’t found it yet,” = "It's still in development, not in production yet."

    “It’s just not important right now.” = "It will be important soon."

    Otherwise he would have said "We are not working on x86." No other reason to use wierd wording, unless you're trying to not exactly lie.
  • 0 Hide
    allenpan , June 10, 2009 4:55 PM
    they do have processor with ARM, called Tegra
  • 3 Hide
    falconqc , June 10, 2009 5:25 PM
    Better translation :

    “If we have such a product, I haven’t found it yet” = "I'm a CEO and I tasked my assistant to look it up for me, but he's incompetent and I'm too busy playing golf to be bothered with things like running a company."

    “It’s just not important right now.” = "T-off is in 2 minutes, I need to get in my helicopter and get to the golf course."
  • 0 Hide
    timaahhh , June 10, 2009 5:33 PM
    talk about being left outta the loop
  • 0 Hide
    grieve , June 10, 2009 9:50 PM
    ""If Nvidia isn’t working on a special x86 project in house, it could partner with Via Technologies, which does hold an x86 license from Intel ""

    I vaguely recall another incident similar to this where the Intel license was not transferable… meaning in this situation, nvidia could not use the VIA license.
  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , June 11, 2009 12:18 PM
    apache_livesTheres more probability of an Intel video card succeeding then nvidia making a decent CPU

    True that. Esp. with Intel's R&D budget. Best chance: Pair up with IBM (big R&D),VIA(x86 license),and AMD(oh the irony) if they plan to make a CPU.
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