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NVIDIA Exiting Chipset Business Pending Resolution of Licensing Dispute With Intel

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ZDnet reports on NVIDIA's announcement yesterday that it will "postpone further chipset investments" in the wake of licensing issues involving Intel's Nehalem and Core processors. NVIDIA's chipsets including integrated graphics processors are currently used throughout Apple's low-end lines, and the shift to NVIDIA was seen as a significant improvement or Intel's similar chipset offerings.
Intel claims that its four-year-old chipset license with NVIDIA doesn't cover the Nehalem or Core series of CPUs. NVIDIA naturally disagrees with this and as a result is that both parties will fight it out in court sometime in 2010.
Sources claimed in early July that Apple would be dropping NVIDIA's chipset from its computers amid dissatisfaction over manufacturing defects in recent products, although the claim was quickly refuted by other sources. Regardless of Apple and NVIDIA's relationship, however, the dispute with Intel over licensing appears to be signaling an end to their chipset partnership.

In addition to the Intel issue, NVIDIA is also ceasing development of chipsets for AMD processors, noting a lack of demand for such products. Finally, a recent report claims that NVIDIA is also exiting the mid- and high-end standalone graphics card market, although the company has apparently called the rumor "patently untrue".

Article Link: NVIDIA Exiting Chipset Business Pending Resolution of Licensing Dispute With Intel
 

kryptonianjorel

macrumors 6502
Jul 3, 2009
373
0
Right, NVIDIA is leaving the mid and high end graphics card market...So this will leave them focused on making physx chips and that rebranded ARM called tegra
 
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Hattig

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2003
1,448
84
London, UK
I think they're still releasing Ion 2 (aka 9400M++ with twice the GPU power) for Intel FSB chips (Atom, Core 2).

They're claiming bad faith on Intel's part (i.e., they had an ongoing CPU chipset licence, Intel moved the goalposts from FSB to QPI/DMI). I think in the meantime NVIDIA will be providing value-add PCIe GPUs that attach to Intel's newest CPUs directly. One problem here is that AMD will have far nicer alternatives in their 40nm product line for this type of use.

And NVIDIA rebranded an ancient chipset for AMD CPUs, nobody cares considering the quality of AMD's own chipsets in comparison, so that's why sales have cratered there. No attempt to make an AMD variant of the 9400M. FAIL.
 
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jaw04005

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2003
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AR
GRRR. Intel really needs the competition so they'll continue to innovate. I hope this doesn't mark a return to Intel Integrated Graphics. :(

I guess it will force Apple to support additional graphics cards for QuickTime hardware decoding.

"In addition to the Intel issue, NVIDIA is also ceasing development of chipsets for AMD processors, noting a lack of demand for such products."

How embarrassing for AMD.

Is there any positive news in this? It couldn't possibly force Apple to adopt Core i5 and i7 chipsets faster or anything right?
 
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Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
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How embarrassing for AMD.
AMD pretty much kicked nVidia out of that market. They had some nice IGPs with the 8200/8300 but the chipsets were average at best. Then AMD pushes out the 780G/790GX and ties that in with SB710/750 with tons of features.

I can get RAID 0, 1, and 0 + 1 off of the SB710 southbridge and the boards go as low as $55. Did I mention it supports ECC?

nVidia can't compete in the AMD + ATI court and they get kicked out by Intel. It was bizarro world when nVidia promoted Core i5/7 + P55 + SLI instead of nForce.

Now nForce is dead too since they couldn't keep tying SLI to that.
 
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Shiner

macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2007
431
10
GRRR. Intel really needs the competition so they'll continue to innovate. I hope this doesn't mark a return to Intel Integrated Graphics. :(

I guess it will force Apple to support additional graphics cards for QuickTime hardware decoding.

"In addition to the Intel issue, NVIDIA is also ceasing development of chipsets for AMD processors, noting a lack of demand for such products."

How embarrassing for AMD.

I don't guess there's any positive news in this. It couldn't possibly force Apple to adopt Core i5 and i7 chipsets faster or anything right?

Not really AMD bought a little company called ATI and it no longer cares about NVIDIA.
 
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thejadedmonkey

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May 28, 2005
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And NVIDIA rebranded an ancient chipset for AMD CPUs, nobody cares considering the quality of AMD's own chipsets in comparison, so that's why sales have cratered there. No attempt to make an AMD variant of the 9400M. FAIL.

Tell me about it. I could get a motherboard with an integrated 3200 about a year ago, and now I think they're up to 4550's integrated into a motherboard... And nVidia was trying to counter it with 9400, and then complains when their sales are down? Oh boo hoo!

So what's left... no more chipsets, graphics cards... Does nVidia even make anything else?
 
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macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
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Central U.S.
So this means that lower end products such as the Macbook, MacMini, 13" MBP, etc will have either half as fast integrated Intel chips in the next version (most benchmarks show Intel'a integrated solutions to be well behind nVidia, even today), or Apple will start putting stand alone graphic cards into these systems. Given the advanced capabilities of Snow Leopard, I think the second option is more likely, however more expensive.

GPGPU / Open CL is the future. Intel isn't ready yet. 13" MBP with a good graphics card is an buy for me next summer, especially with an i7.
 
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zedsdead

macrumors 68040
Jun 20, 2007
3,302
762
I think this adds proof to apple dripping nvidia and making the switch to ATI. I really hope they avoid intel integrated graphics like the plague.
 
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MrCrowbar

macrumors 68020
Jan 12, 2006
2,065
239
... WHAT!?

So NVidia's basically dropping the graphics card business? And the chipset business? So... it's back to separate chipset (Intel) and graphics (AMD aka ATI)?

...
:(
 
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Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,097
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Tell me about it. I could get a motherboard with an integrated 3200 about a year ago, and now I think they're up to 4550's integrated into a motherboard... And nVidia was trying to counter it with 9400, and then complains when their sales are down? Oh boo hoo!

So what's left... no more chipsets, graphics cards... Does nVidia even make anything else?
AMD is in a minor revision right now. The 780G (Radeon HD 3200) is just a 55 nm RV610 HD2400 core with shared RAM.

Today it's the 785G (Radeon 4200) with a 55 nm RV620 HD 3400 core and adding on Direct X 10.1. The 785G is just a 5-10% improvement over the 780G clock for clock.

I don't think we're going to see a new IGP from AMD until Spring 2010 when SB810/850 roll out.
 
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jaw04005

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Aug 19, 2003
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AMD pretty much kicked nVidia out of that market. They had some nice IGPs with the 8200/8300 but the chipsets were average at best. Then AMD pushes out the 780G/790GX and ties that in with SB710/750 with tons of features.

I can get RAID 0, 1, and 0 + 1 off of the SB710 southbridge and the boards go as low as $55. Did I mention it supports ECC?

Not really AMD bought a little company called ATI and it no longer cares about NVIDIA.

Ahhhh. Makes sense now. I took it as a lack of demand for AMD processors as a whole. I didn't realize they were offering a competing chipset with integrated graphics.

With OpenCL, isn't the ball in the graphics card manufacturer's court, not Apple's? :confused:

As far as I know, OpenCL is not related to QuickTime hardware decoding. And the ball is never really in the manufacturer's court since Apple pretty much controls video driver development on the Mac platform.
 
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Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
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Ahhhh. Makes sense now. I took it as a lack of demand for AMD processors as a whole. I didn't realize they were offering a competing chipset with integrated graphics.
AMD owns the sub-$200 processor market right now and they have their own chipsets and IGPs to back it up.

You'd be amazed how far you can overclock and AMD IGP as well. You can pull off nearly 1000 MHz on the 780G with a custom cooler.

No one wanted nVidia based boards on AMD's platform.
 
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CWallace

macrumors G3
Aug 17, 2007
8,277
4,744
Seattle, WA

Sounds right to me. If Apple was moving to Intel chipsets and Nehalem for this imminent refresh, it would have leaked by now most likely.


So this means that lower end products such as the Macbook, MacMini, 13" MBP, etc will have either half as fast integrated Intel chips in the next version ...or Apple will start putting stand alone graphic cards into these systems.

I expect we'll see more of the same with this release, as Eidorian suggests, and then Apple will move to dedicated GPUs across the line using Intel chipsets and Nehalem for the next major refresh (possibly sometime next summer). By waiting, Apple can benefit from lower prices for all the parts (as yields mature and costs drop for the manufacturers) which should allow them to, at worst, hold the line on current prices.
 
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Eidorian

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Mar 23, 2005
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303
Indianapolis
I expect we'll see more of the same with this release, as Eidorian suggests, and then Apple will move to dedicated GPUs across the line using Intel chipsets and Nehalem for the next major refresh (possibly sometime next summer). By waiting, Apple can benefit from lower prices for all the parts (as yields mature and costs drop for the manufacturers) which should allow them to, at worst, hold the line on current prices.
Which sadly leaves Apple stagnating at Core 2 while everyone else moves to Nehalem/Westmere.

I wonder how they'll market this. More green stuff? Moving to a two chip design (Processor + PCH/MCH or ION) is great for lowering the BOM and providing more utility a la ION and it's IGP. Now you're stuck with a dead platform from nVidia moving forward.
 
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nick9191

macrumors 68040
Feb 17, 2008
3,353
171
Britain
Can't wait for the X4500 in the $1699 15" :rolleyes:

Apple better get some decent (ATI) chips across the line up. Surely it would be marketing suicide to go back to GMA.

The iMac will get dedicated graphics anyway so hopefully it doesn't matter. They better move onto Nehalem soon for the iMac. I don't think I can stand another year of a f**cking £1799 iMac with a 3.06ghz Core 2 Duo.
 
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jaw04005

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2003
4,371
17
AR
How are Intel's new integrated graphics solutions? I haven't used one since the GMA 950, which was fairly poor.

NVIDIA's chipsets and the 9400M is in practically in everything Apple makes right now. We're looking at major changes across the Mac mini, iMac and MacBook lines.

I'm sure Apple has known for a while this was going to happen and/or was a possibility. They put all that work into switching to NVIDIA chipsets, only to have to switch back.

Maybe Intel will throw Apple a bone and give them Arrandale early?
 
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dwd3885

macrumors 68020
Dec 10, 2004
2,124
135
Can't wait for the X4500 in the $1699 15" :rolleyes:

Apple better get some decent (ATI) chips across the line up. Surely it would be marketing suicide to go back to GMA.

The iMac will get dedicated graphics anyway so hopefully it doesn't matter. They better move onto Nehalem soon for the iMac. I don't think I can stand another year of a f**cking £1799 iMac with a 3.06ghz Core 2 Duo.

I can't stand it either. I want a Mac so bad and a good one too, I'm almost afraid I'd have to go for the Mac Pro to get what I really want.
 
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Eidorian

macrumors Penryn
Mar 23, 2005
29,097
303
Indianapolis
How are Intel's new integrated graphics solutions? I haven't used one since the GMA 950, which was fairly poor.

NVIDIA's chipsets and the 9400M is in practically in everything Apple makes right now. We're looking at major changes across the Mac mini, iMac and MacBook lines.

I'm sure Apple has known for a while this was going to happen and/or was a possibility. They put all that work into switching to NVIDIA chipsets, only to have to switch back.

Maybe Intel will throw Apple a bone and give them Arrandale early?
Clarkdale/Arrandale IGP = 785G = 70 to 80% of 9400.

I can see ION2 on the Mac mini but for the more expensive platforms you can't stick on Core 2 much longer because it's becoming a low budget or low voltage solution only.
 
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