Intel Licenses Nehalem Graphics Technology From Nvidia - InformationWeek

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Infrastructure // PC & Servers

Intel Licenses Nehalem Graphics Technology From Nvidia

Intel plans to use the technology to improve performance of high-end gaming systems and workstations.

Intel licensed SLI technology from Nivida to allow Nehalem processors and chipsets to support multiple graphics processors in high-end gaming systems and workstations.

Also, Nvidia announced Monday that motherboard manufacturers Asus, EVGA, Gigabyte and MSI also licensed the technology for use in motherboards designed for Intel Core i7 and Core i5 processors based on the 45-nanometer Nehalem microarchitecture. SLI enables a motherboard to support as many as three Nvidia GeForce graphics cards.

Intel launched Core i7 processors late last year for high-end desktops. In June, the chip maker said it will this year ship Core i5 and Core i3 processors based on Nehalem for less expensive systems.

The licensing agreement does not address the ongoing dispute between Nvidia and Intel regarding next-generation products from Intel that incorporate graphics technology on the same piece of silicon as the main processor. Intel claims that current licensing between the companies doesn't cover those future products.

Intel licenses Nvidia's patent portfolio, including its 3-D and GPU technologies. Nvidia, on the other hand, licenses technology that makes it possible for it to ship graphics chips in Intel-powered PCs from major computer makers, such as Apple, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Lenovo and Toshiba.

Intel and Nvidia have been trying to settle the disagreement more a year and a half. Changes in the chip market are exacerbating the dispute. Intel has been boosting the graphics capabilities in its chipsets, encroaching on Nvidia's market in PCs, which have become increasingly focused on video, music, and other forms of entertainment. Nvidia, on the other hand, is trying to replace Intel chipsets.

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