The M1697 Concludes The ULi Portfolio

NVIDIA MCP55 Comes First

Transforming existing ULi hardware into an NVIDIA product is unlikely, but we expect next generation silicon with more PCI Express lanes to be a hot candidate for NVIDIA's SLI 2.0 platforms.

Since HyperTransport allows for flexible component setups, various chipset configurations based on ULi's current products and future ideas, as well as NVIDIA's core logic, are possible. We expect upcoming core logic generations to feature many more PCI Express lanes, due to advancing production processes for chipset products. This will allow for greater flexibility and higher-end SLI setups.

NVIDIA is currently working on its MCP55 Media Communications Processor, which should be available at the time AMD releases its Socket M2 processor family (late Q2 2006). This will incorporate as many as 28 PCI Express lanes, dual Gigabit Ethernet and six SATA II ports into a single chip. These 26 PCI Express lanes are split up into one x16 slot, one x8 slot and four additional lanes that can be distributed at will - the MCP55 allows for six distinct PCI Express links. This also means that serious dual x16 SLI won't come true unless you pair the chip with an additional PCI Express device, which will be the C51D that currently powers the nForce4 SLI X16. Since NVIDIA's components already talk to each other via HyperTransport, a close look at ULi as a potential acquisition was a logical approach.