Nvidia Readies Core-Logic for Intel Core i3, Core i5, Core i7 Microprocessors – Rumours

Despite the Lack of License, Nvidia Wants to Make Chipsets for Intel Nehalem/Westmere Platforms

by Anton Shilov
08/17/2009 | 12:17 PM

Despite of the fact that Nvidia Corp. does not have a license to develop and sell core-logic sets compatible with Intel Corp.’s microprocessors featuring built-in memory controller, the company still wants to introduce a chipset supporting central processing units based on Nehalem and Westmere micro-architectures early next year, according to media reports.


Nvidia plans to release three new single-chip core-logic sets in Q1 2010, according to reports from DigiTimes and HKEPC web-sites. Nvidia code-named MCP85 core-logic will be aimed at microprocessors from Advanced Micro Devices, code-named MCP89 is designed for Intel Core 2-series processors and will be compatible with 1333MHz quad-pumped processor system bus, the most intriguing part is named MCP99, which will utilize so-called direct memory interface (DMI) and will be aimed at Intel core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 microprocessors. The new media and communication processors, as Nvidia calls its chipsets, will feature integrated GeForce graphics cores and dedicated memory controller to enable higher performance in video games.

It should not be a problem for Nvidia to release its MCP85 and MCP89 for AMD and Intel processors: it has all necessary technology licenses and the products are likely to be in demand, especially in the notebook segment, where current-generation chips will be used for quite a while going forward. Considering the fact that performance of integrated GeForce 200M graphics core is likely to be higher compared to existing built-in graphics, many PC makers may be very interested in such a platform. Nvidia may even brand the new chips as Ion 2 to attract maximum attention.

The release of MCP99, which will support both Nehalem and Westmere generations of microprocessors, seems to be rather controversial. Firstly, Nvidia cannot legally release a chipset supporting Intel’s processors with integrated memory controller and its legal dispute with Intel is unlikely to come to its end by Q1 2010. Secondly, there is hardly a need for integrated graphics core in premium systems based on quad-core Intel Core i7 “Lynnfield” microprocessors, whereas mainstream dual-core Intel Core i5/i3 processors will feature integrated graphics core and Nvidia’s new core-logic does not seem to be needed again. Theoretically, Nvidia’s solution may offer considerably higher performance compared to Intel’s integrated core, however, it is unlikely that PC makers will pay for two integrated graphics cores for mainstream personal computers.

Nvidia did not comment on the news-story.