Could Nvidia purchase Taiwanese processor and platform designer VIA and harness its intellectual property to fight Intel head-on? That's exactly what the rumor mill conjured up a couple of months back, citing anonymous sources in Taiwan's motherboard manufacturing industry.
According to Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, however, a buyout like that probably isn't going to happen. News.com quotes Huang as saying of VIA, "They don't need our money. I don't need theirs. . . . They're doing fine. People want to create drama." Reiterating what he said at Nvidia's Financial Analyst Conference last month, Huang also told News.com, "Our shtick is that we just focus on one thing. We said we're a visual computing technology company and we're completely focused on this."
Huang was nonetheless eager to point out that Nvidia supports other companies' CPUs when it needs to. For instance, Nvidia's APX 2500 handheld applications processor includes an ARM processor core, and Sony's PlayStation 3 console integrates a Cell processor and an Nvidia graphics processor. Additionally, Nvidia is prepping a low-cost platform with integrated graphics for VIA CPUs.
Of course, Huang didn't go as far as to rule out any future involvement in CPU design. After stating last month, "I would build CPUs if [it] could change the world," he told News.com Nvidia could shift its focus if innovation in the visual computing world was to stop.