According to the Inq an analyst claims that NVIDIA could obtain a Pentium 4 license not directly from Intel, but from IBM which will produce the NV36 and NV40 chips for NVIDIA. According to SIG Equity Research the announcement of NVIDIA his Intel chipsets could be as early as Q1 2004.
But, said the firm in a report to its customers, Nvidia may not need to get its licence direct from Intel, but because of its manufacturing agreement with IBM could get a front side bus licence as Big Blue is close to Intel as well.
That way, reckons the firm, Nvidia could miss out paying the $5 royalty everyone else has to pay, but would have to make its chipsets using the IBM foundry.
This is an interesting theory but we wonder if it holds water? We kind of doubt it. The relationship between Nvidia and IBM Microelectronics is one thing. And a relationship between IBM and Intel is another thing. If Nvidia was allowed to short circuit the process, Intel would likely face some interrogation from other people that pay the licence – not least ATI.
Joe D'Elia, senior microprocessor analyst at iSuppli, said: "This was exactly the way that Cyrix was able to bypass Intel licenses in the past. Its foundries were Texas Instruments, IBM and ultimately STMicro and they all had/have cross licensing agreements with Intel. This didn't stop Intel taking them to court which eventually found in Cyrix's favour so the legal precedent is there".
Mmz it is getting a bit confusing, some are saying that NVIDIA does not already has a Pentium 4 license, while on the other hand some other sources say that NVIDIA does have one.. Anyway it is looking very real that NVIDIA really is going to make Pentium chipsets in future.