Word reached us a bit ago that Nvidia is definitely working on an x86 chip and the firm is heavily recruiting x86 engineers all over Silicon Valley. The history behind this is here and here, and can be summarised by saying they bought an x86 team almost fully, and don't have a licence to make the parts. Given that the firm burned about every bridge imaginable with the two companies who can give them licences, Nvidia has about a zero chance of getting one.
There are options to take, like fabbing at IBM, but that won't stop the lawyers. Claiming you are getting around the issue with a Transmeta-like approach will likely end up in a long lawsuit as well. Basically what it comes down to is that Nvidia is trying to get into the x86 business, and doesn't seem to care much about 'laws' and 'legality' when doing so.
The Inq: NVIDIA working on x86 processor
Posted on Sunday, Feb 08 2009 @ 20:49 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck