I find it hard to believe that NVIDIA is going to close its chipset business but the rumour is gaining traction as a new source now confirms the story that DigiTimes published this week. TweakTown had a chat with some of their contacts at Taiwanese motherboard makers and heard NVIDIA will exit the chipset market and transfer the chipset designers and engineers to the general-purpose computing on graphics processing units (GPGPU) team to speed up development in that area.
TweakTown heard from their sources that NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang recently contacted motherboard makers and asked them straight out if they thought NVIDIA should continue producing chipsets. Apparently none of the motherboard makers responded positively to Huang's question.
What does all this mean for SLI technology? Without NVIDIA producing its own chipsets and boards naturally with SLI support, it surely will reduce the amount of sales of NVIDIA GeForce GPUs. Do you really see AMD pushing SLI on its boards? Unlikely as it wants to sell as many Radeon cards as possible, not GeForce cards. VIA would be willing but it’s not like gamers are going to be crying out for a VIA platform for high-end gaming – performance per watt (VIA Nano), for sure but not when it has anything to do with high-end gaming.
From what we observed and heard over the past few days, we think NVIDIA is quitting its chipset business due to production issues as well as several burnt bridges with motherboard companies and the desire to speed up its General-Purpose Computation Using Graphics Hardware technology and take on Intel head on in the CPU market. We are pretty sure that SLI will live on one way or another but this is pretty major stuff for NVIDIA and it will be interesting to see what type of affect it has on its bottom line later on.