Chicago (IL) - C19, Nvidia's nForce chipset for Pentium4 systems, has cleared its last major hurdle. The chipset recently appeared on the PCI Express integrators list of the PCI Special Interest Group as certified product.
Nvidia declined to comment on the listing of C19 and remains tight-lipped about a possible shipment of the chipset. With PCI Express certification in its pocket, the company however appears to be in launch position to supply the product in volume. We would not be surprised, if the launch of the nForce for Pentium 4's would coincide with the launch of the 64-bit Pentium4 6xx series that will hit the market "sometime in the next few weeks", according to Intel.
The feature set of the Intel nForce4 is expected to correspond with the AMD version and will support 64-bit architecture as well as SLI for dual graphics cards. The timing of the launch suggests that the chipset will cover a range of current Intel specs such as FSB support up to 1066 MHz and near-future technology improvements such as dual-core Smithfield and Pentium Extreme Edition processors.
Force could become a critical strategic element to be taken seriously in the gaming community. With the Pentium 4 6xx series being touted as performance processors, features such as dual graphics cards support will be a handy tool to support the marketing message. Nvidia in turn will be able to sell significantly more nForce chipsets due to the huge amount of potential customers. Target buyers for the nForce overlap somewhat with Intel's existing customer buys, but it is unlikely that Intel will loose much, according to market research firms such as Mercury Research.
Nvidia plans nForce chipsets for Intel-based platforms