After years of providing premium chipsets for AMD Athlon family of processors NVIDIA Corp. has finally gained license to make core-logic products for central processing units by Intel Corp.. Even though not a lot of details are known currently, given Intel’s wide range of products, NVIDIA may significantly enhance its positions as a chipset designer.
The companies said they had signed a broad, multi-year patent cross-license agreement spanning multiple product lines and product generations. Additionally, the companies signed a multi-year chipset agreement for NVIDIA to license Intel’s front-side bus technology. This will enable NVIDIA to deliver its NVIDIA nForce platform technology on Intel-based systems.
“NVIDIA’s product portfolio offers exciting technology options to Intel customers, including our NVIDIA nForce platform and PCI Express-based SLI graphics technology solution,” said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and chief executive officer of NVIDIA Corp.
During the Q3 2004 Intel Corp. supplied 62.1% of all chipsets shipped worldwide, VIA Technologies commanded 18.5% of the market, Silicon Integrated Systems Corp. shipped 9.9% of core-logic products in Q3 2004, while ATI Technologies and NVIDIA Corp. only occupied 4.5% and 4.2% of the market.
NVIDIA was the only chipset designer who did not have rights to produce products aimed at microprocessors from Intel Corp. Historically NVIDIA targeted high-end of AMD CPU market, currently NVIDIA Corp. is the only provider of chipsets capable of using two graphics cards in parallel – NVIDIA nForce4 SLI. With license for Intel’s Quad Pumped Bus NVIDIA may expand its product line with desktop and workstation oriented products.
The agreement with Intel Corp. can not only give a boost to NVIDIA’s revenues, but also put some pressure on sales of other chipset designers, primarily VIA Technologies, Silicon Integrated Systems, who have been concentrating on desktop chipsets, and partly ATI Technologies, who so far has been focusing on mobile core-logic products. Intel’s high-end chipset business may also face attack from NVIDIA.
NVIDIA Corp. did not elaborate on actual products or their timeframes.