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Nvidia Corp., the world’s largest developer of graphics processing units (GPUs), may be interested in acquisition of Via Technologies, a minor developer of x86 central processing units and core-logic sets, Taiwan-based press has reported. Given that Nvidia already has chipset business unit, the only product family in which Nvidia may be interested in is x86 chips by Via.

A news-story at DigiTimes web-site claims that Nvidia and Via had discussed three possible scenarios, including a strategic alliance, acquisition of Via’s processor division, or the acquisition of the entire company. The parties have not reached any agreement so far, but the negotiations may be re-opened up soon as financial situation for Via is not showing any signs of improvement, whereas Nvidia may truly need its own x86 platform to broaden market segments it could address.

It is not clear whether Via Technologies x86 license is transferable and Nvidia will be able to develop, manufacture and sell x86 central processing units if it acquires Via. Nevertheless, Nvidia may be interested in developers of Via’s core-logic sets, CPUs and even S3 Graphics’ GPUs.

Via Technologies has been offering its CPUs after it acquired it acquired most of Cyrix and also absorbed Integrated Device Technology’s Centaur x86 chip subsidiary in 1999. However, the company has not become a successful x86 CPU vendor due to the fact that its microprocessors are hardly competitive against products by Advanced Micro Devices and Intel Corp.

Neither Nvidia nor Via commented on the news-story.

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