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NVIDIA hints at processor with integrated graphics

Posted on Monday, March 10 2008 @ 21:13:53 CET by

The guys from Custom PC had a chat with NVIDIA and heard that NVIDIA already has the technology to create a CPU. It's all just speculation but could this be a hint that NVIDIA is thinking about creating processors with integrated graphics just like AMD is trying to do with its Fusion project?
Nvidia's director of product PR for EMEA and India, Luciano Alibrandi rightly pointed out to Custom PC that 'Nvidia does produce a CPU' in the form of the APX2500. As Alibrandi says, the APX2500 'includes a CPU, graphics, video processing, imaging, display and I/O functionality on a single chip.' Basically, Nvidia already has the technology to produce a CPU, so it's a question of where it takes this technology in the future.

'CPUs are not particularly magical,' Alibrandi told Custom PC, 'they are designed and sold by a wide range of companies, big and small.' However, he also added that 'from our perspective, the interesting problems and computing problems to be solved for the next century are highly parallel, and require a combination of heterogeneous processing that a CPU alone simply cannot address.'

Of course, this ambiguous statement could mean allsorts of things, including Nvidia simply trying to use GPUs for more general computing tasks, as it does with its CUDA language, and leaving the CPU work to Intel. However, what's interesting is that there's no flat denial that Nvidia is considering producing a CPU, which is what we asked about. This is particularly curious when you consider that Nvidia's CEO, Jen Hsun-Huang, previously said that Nvidia 'is not going into that business' in June last year.

This suggests to us a hint that Nvidia has changed its plans and is considering developing an all-in-one part, perhaps similar to AMD's Fusion technology, which can act as both a multi-core CPU and GPU, and may also have other features such as an integrated memory controller.
While it may be possible for NVIDIA to create a processor it doesn't seem likely that they'll compete directly against Intel and AMD processors because they don't have a x86 license.



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