Is nVidia burning down Apple's house?
(with profound apologies to the Talking Heads)
While the buzz is heating up over the possibility of an Apple netbook, the company's followers are also talking about heating of a different sort.
Graphics chip vendor nVidia (NASDAQ: NVDA) is again finding itself in the middle of the issue. There have been reports on Apple boards and blogs such as Engadget that MacBook Pros with the 9600M discrete graphics chip are overheating -- severely.
"Our understanding is that Apple is investigating this, and if they need our help we will certainly support them," nVidia spokesman Derek Perez said in an e-mail to InternetNews.com. "But right now, it's unclear what the issue is, so jumping to conclusions at this point is premature."
nVidia was hit hard last summer by reports that the solders to hold graphics chips in place in certain notebooks were melting from heat.
At the time of the MacBook launch in October, Apple's selection of the 9600M GPU seemed to be a repudiation of the problem and a sign the company had put the issues behind it.
However, the problem may have stemmed from the Mac's fans rather than nVidia's parts, judging by discussions on Apple's support forums.
Once people reset their notebook fan control software, the fans operate properly and keep the chips cool, posters on the forums said.