Is Nvidia covertly developing an x86 processor?


— 11:22 AM on August 21, 2008

Jen-Hsun Huang outlined his company's strategy quite clearly last April: CPU-GPU hybrids or not, Nvidia will continue to focus on making great graphics processors for both visual computing and parallel processing. He hammered the point home with arguments like, "Google doesn't need to make an operating system to compete with Microsoft."

Simple enough, right? Well, Huang's assurances haven't stopped the rumor mill from grinding on about the possibility that, deep inside its labs, Nvidia is quietly putting together an x86 processor to compete with Intel. Charlie Demerjian over at The Inquirer says that rumor is currently making the rounds at Intel's Developer Forum.

Similar speculation emerged back in late 2006 when Nvidia purchased Stexar, a start-up led by former Intel engineers. Back then, word was that Nvidia would roll out a CPU-GPU hybrid of its own some time in 2008. Charlie doesn't think such a move would make much sense, though. The graphics firm doesn't have an x86 license, and it could face legal heat from both Intel and AMD if it simply waltzed into the x86 processor market. With that said, Charlie concludes that we "might just see" Nvidia unveil something next week.

 
   
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