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Nvidia's focus for Computex revealed

Think small
Thu May 21 2009, 15:01

NVIDIA WILL BE heavily plugging GPU computing, Tegra, and Ion at this year's Computex in Taipei, whilst leaving talk of core-logic chipsets for the mainstream and performance segments by the wayside.

Sources close to Nvidia say the firm will continue to bang on about what its CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang sees as the omnipotent GPU as well as using Quadro and Tesla to perform tasks usually left to the CPU.

Nvidia spinners have apparently been ordered to wax lyrical at any given opportunity about how new features in Windows 7 and Mac OS Snow Leopard will finally be able to take advantage of GPU computing by automatically off-loading certain functions to the GPU and giving programmers more access to it.

The Green Goblin apparently also plans a Computex push to promote its tiny computer-on-a-chip, Tegra, especially with regard to netbooks and embedded applications, after hardly mentioning it at all over the past nine months.

Of course, just how competitive Nvidia can make Tegra - basically a processor derived from the ARM chip architecture family - look, compared with some of the newer ARM Cortex A9 processors from ST and TI, remains to be seen.

Sources INQform us that Nvidia is being noticeably quiet about any new core-logic chipsets for mainstream and performance PCs, although apparently the firm does want to push its much hyped Ion chip into ultra thin notebooks and some mainstream machines. Bizarrely, or not considering Nvidia's recent near clashes with Intel, the Goblin is making quite the effort not to associate Ion with smaller, cheaper netbooks.

Earlier this week we reported that Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang was accusing Intel of underpricing its Atom processor and chipset combo in order to lure OEMs away from buying Nvidia's Ion chipset. Intel flogs individual Atom processors to OEMs for $45 apiece, but drops that price to just $25 when paired with a matching Intel chipset, Huang charged.

The INQ learned an Ion chipset costs OEMs about $30, so computer makers who want to build Ion netbooks would be better off buying an Atom chipset combo, stripping out the Intel chipset and replacing it with Ion for a grand total of about $55, over twice the price of Intel's combined offering, versus paying the full price of $45 for Intel's Atom chip plus $30 for Nvidia's Ion chipset for a total cost of $75.

Hmmm... Unfair? Huang may well have a point. µ

See Also
Nvidia attacks Intel over pricing advantage


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