A day ago, NVIDIA told analysts at a Morgan Stanley Technology conference that it has plans to enter the x86 processor market in the next two to three years. NVIDIA VP of Investor Relations/Communications Michael Hara claimed the question is not so much if, but when NVIDIA will enter the x86 processor market. NVIDIA won't go after the high-end segment that is currently dominated by Intel and AMD though, Hara unveiled these x86 chips will be highly integrated SoCs, designed for MIDs and netbook like devices.
In a Q&A session at the conference, Nvidia’s senior vice president of investor relations and communications, Michael Hara, was asked when Nvidia would want to get into the general purpose microprocessor business. Hara said that “the question is not so much I think if; I think the question is when.”
“I think some time down the road it makes sense to take the same level of integration that we’ve done with Tegra,” said Hara. “Tegra is by any definition a complete computer on a chip, and the requirements of that market are such that you have to be very low power, very small, but highly efficient. So in that particular state it made a lot of sense to take that approach, and someday it’s going to make sense to take the same approach in the x86 market as well.”
Details are scarce, but I think this piece of news is related to the news that TSMC will be making Atom SoCs for Intel. Legally, NVIDIA can't make x86 processors because it doesn't have a x86 license, but it should be possible for the GPU maker to integrate Intel's Atom and perhaps also VIA's Nano into its own SoCs.