It's been about two months since NVIDIA called rumors that it was leaving the chipset business "groundless," so perhaps it's no big shock that PC Magazine is now reporting that the company is putting its nForce chipset line "on hiatus." On hiatus, that is, until the company gets a few sticky legal questions out of the way, including whether or not its four-year deal with Intel covers Core i7 processors. Thus we have the delicate line that NVIDIA walks with Intel: for the time being, the two companies need each other, but they don't have to like each other, and as the latter continues to pursue graphics integration with the CPU, manufacturers are going to be increasingly pushed towards all-Intel solutions. All this leads us to wonder if NVIDIA might decide chipsets in general are more trouble than they're worth, especially considering Intel's general attitude about them -- and whether ION might be the next on the block.

Update: We've just received an email from NVIDIA's Ken Brown that sheds a little light on the matter. It reads, in part: "[B]ecause of Intel's improper claims to customers and the market that we aren't licensed to the new DMI bus and its unfair business tactics, it is effectively impossible for us to market chipsets for future CPUs. So, until we resolve this matter in court next year, we'll postpone further chipset investments for Intel DMI CPUs." Fair enough. Peep it for yourself after the break.


NVIDIA statement on our chipset business

Hi,

We've received a number of inquiries recently about NVIDIA's chipset (MCP) business. We'd like to set the record straight on current and future NVIDIA chipset activity.

On Intel platforms, the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M/ION brands have enjoyed significant sales, as well as critical success. Customers including Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo, Samsung, Acer, ASUS and others are continuing to incorporate GeForce 9400M and ION products in their current designs. There are many customers that have plans to use ION or GeForce 9400M chipsets for upcoming designs, as well.

On AMD platforms, we continue to sell a higher quantity of chipsets than AMD itself. MCP61-based platforms continue to be extremely well positioned in the entry CPU segments where AMD CPUs are most competitive vs. Intel

We will continue to innovate integrated solutions for Intel's FSB architecture. We firmly believe that this market has a long healthy life ahead. But because of Intel's improper claims to customers and the market that we aren't licensed to the new DMI bus and its unfair business tactics, it is effectively impossible for us to market chipsets for future CPUs. So, until we resolve this matter in court next year, we'll postpone further chipset investments for Intel DMI CPUs.

Despite Intel's actions, we have innovative products that we are excited to introduce to the market in the months ahead. We know these products will bring with them some amazing breakthroughs that will surprise the industry, just as GeForce 9400M and ION have shaken up the industry this year.

We expect our MCP business for both Intel and AMD to be strong well into the future.

Let me know if you have any questions, and thanks for your interest.

Best,
Ken

Ken Brown
PR Manager
NVIDIA Corp.

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