As we wrote earlier this month, Nvidia plans to take a charge of $150-200 million because of failing notebook chipsets and graphics processors. According to Nvidia’s official statement, the failures affect chips “manufactured with a certain die/packaging material set,” but only in notebooks.
Not everyone bought that story. The Inquirer reported a few days later that all of Nvidia’s G84 and G86 graphics processors were in fact failure-prone—even the ones in desktop graphics cards. Nvidia chose not to reply to our request for comment on that story, but the folks at Ars Technica were apparently luckier. They’ve received a statement from the company reiterating that the failures don’t affect desktop parts.
Nvidia mentions in its response that “only a very small percentage of the notebook chips that have shipped” could be affected, and it goes on to say, “we have not seen and don’t expect to see this issue on any NVIDIA-based desktop systems.” To reassure readers as to the small scale of the problem, Nvidia asserts, “It is very unlikely that your NVIDA based notebook product is affected.”
Would Nvidia fess up even if failures did occur in desktop products? Ars points out that the company could get in trouble for misleading the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission about the financial impact of the problem, so lying might not be in the firm’s best interest.