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Intel, Nvidia, NSA Rally with iPad's Early Success

We managed to get some time with Intel last weekend for a totally different topic -- which we can't reveal yet -- but representatives from the company ended up actually talking about Apple's direction and the iPad. Were they just sidestepping talking about the secret technology.

We asked Intel if they were upset about Apple not going with an Atom CPU in the iPad.

"Not at all. Just think, a few years ago they were not using our processors at all, and now we're in every Mac, so do you think we can be upset?"

The Intel reps also indicated that the iPad was the talk of the town and a favorite among other engineers at the chip giant, pointing to the device's ease of use and large applications and games library. When asked if they already had one, they said that most were waiting for the Wi-Fi + 3G model.

On the other side, we have Nvidia with graphics business. But discrete GPUs is just one side of Nvidia's business. The company this year will be pushing forward in the mobile devices space with the Tegra 2 SoC, which aims to power many of the tablets current in the pipeline.

Apple may have all the spotlight in the world for tablets, but Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia's CEO, views that as a positive thing as it's validation for tablets that will use Tegra 2, which will boast capabilities beyond that of the iPad.

"I am really delighted to see the success of Apple," he said. "And now we can take it from there forward and innovate all around that. We have seen the first of the tablets. But we haven’t seen the best of it yet."

National Security Agency, Lieutenant General Keith Alexander, also indicated that he and his colleagues are liking what Apple has done with the iPad, focusing on usage rather than following other traditional tablet makers.

"I am a technologist. I love computers. I have a new iPad," Alexander said to a committee of Senators.

The Wi-Fi + 3G iPad is slated to arrive later this month, although international availability has been delayed to May.

Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.