Skip to main content

Nvidia Looking to Buy Into VIA?

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.

Marcus Yam
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.
  • deltatux
    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.
  • shabodah
    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.
  • megamanx00
    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.
  • megamanx00
    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?
  • stinkygood
    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
  • scarpa
    Nvidia entering CPU market is welcomed.
  • knickle
    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
  • allenpan
    again who has VIA plateform anymore? beside
  • knickle
    allenpanagain who has VIA plateform anymore? besideI 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.
  • jerreece
    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.