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Intel v/s NVIDIA

There seems to be some sort of a legal battle brewing between chip manufacturing rivals Intel and NVIDIA. Why are they rivals you might ask. Well if we are to go by NVIDIA’s take on the chip manufacturing business, then CPU manufacturing is a decaying business and the GPU (graphics processing unit) is the new heart and soul of the PC. In fact, NVIDIA believes that this whole law suit by Intel is nothing but a last ditch effort by processor manufacturer to protect precisely this decaying CPU business.

The ruckus is being raised because Intel recently sued NVIDIA claiming that the existing license agreement between them does not allow NVIDIA to design chipsets for CPUs with integrated memory controllers such as the Nehalem. NVIDIA, on the other hand, is confident that it does. So like all disputes in the western world, this one, too, is being settled by a court. Mind you, both the companies have had agreements in place for a long time that allow NVIDIA to make chip-sets for the processor making giant. Emphasizing that NVIDIA will not back down, the CEO Jen-Hsun Huang was quoted saying, “this case is about the future and NVIDIA’s ability to continue to innovate and make a difference in the industry by creating its own products, not just those that Intel allows it to create”. With sales of desktop processors down by 18 per cent in the last quarter, and those of graphics cards down by almost 35 per cent, this sort of in-fighting isn’t going to help either of the companies.

Meanwhile, the companies are fighting battles elsewhere too. Intel is trying to launch products by defining newer product categories such as netbooks and the latest one MID. MIDs are mobile internet devices; basically, portable gadgets that can replicate the PC experience. Intel is trying to perfect a new platform technology called Moorestown for MIDs that will negate the power draining nature of processors. Similarly, NVIDIA is banking on the Tegra 600 and Ion chips to win in this segment.