RealTime IT News

A Marriage of Two Chips

Nvidia will integrate its graphics chips with Intel chips, the company said Friday.

The "multi-year patent cross-license agreement" between the two Santa Clara, Calif.-based companies covers multiple product lines and product generations. Specific details were light, but Nvidia president and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said his company would bring Nvidia's nForce platform and PCI Express-based SLI graphics technology to the table.

The companies also signed a multi-year chipset agreement that lets Nvidia license Intel's front-side bus technology. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Today's agreements are significant for both companies and, more importantly, represent a win for our mutual customers who now have more choices for enhancing the PC experience," Louis Burns, Intel vice president and general manager for desktop products, said in a statement.

The Intel contract is particularly beneficial for Nvidia, considering the agreement lets the graphics chipmaker easily transfer the technology over to AMD-based systems.

Nvidia has had a contract since 2001 to build graphics processing units or GPUs for AMD's Opteron processors. Nvidia also has similar relationships with IBM and Transmeta .

Earlier this week, Nvidia and ASUSTeK Computer International announced the availability of the ASUS A8N-SLI motherboard for AMD64 gaming systems. The contract is the first to feature the nForce4 SLI chipset with support for dual GeForce 6800 graphics cards.

Nvidia also revealed that ASUSTeK and other partners -- ranging from AOpen, PNY Technologies, and Gigabyte to Leadtek Research, BFG Technologies, and Gainward -- will offer AGP graphics cards using the Nvidia GeForce 6600 GT graphics processor.

Formerly available only in PCI Express products, the 6600 GT offers high-performance 3D acceleration including DirectX 9.0 Shader Model 3.0 support for cards at the $199 price point.

Editor's note: Jupiterweb editor Eric Grevstad contributed to this report.