Site says Nvidia will exit chipset biz, Nvidia denies

If you visit DigiTimes right now, you’ll see a catchy headline at the top of the page: “Nvidia to quit chipset business.” Citing sources at motherboard firms, the Taiwanese site alleges that Nvidia will stop offering chipsets and re-assign its MCP team to the GPU business. Regarding the motive for the change, the site explains, “Nvidia called a meeting earlier this week with its motherboard partners to gauge support for it continuing to develop chipsets in the future. . . . The motherboard makers’ response? Silence.”

Puzzled, we asked Nvidia Platform Products PR chief Bryan Del Rizzo to weigh in. Del Rizzo’s response came swiftly and left little open for interpretation:

  1. The story on Digitimes is completely groundless. We have no intention of getting out of the chipset business.
  2. In fact, our MCP business is as strong as it ever has been for both AMD and Intel platforms:
    1. Mercury Research has reported that the NVIDIA market share of AMD platforms in Q2 08 was 60%. We have been steady in this range for over two years.
    2. SLI is still the preferred multi-GPU platform thanks to its stellar scaling, game compatibility and driver stability.
    3. nForce 790i SLI is the recommended choice by editors worldwide due to its compelling combination of memory performance, overclocking, and support for SLI. . . .
  3. We’re looking forward to bring new and very exciting MCP products to the market for both AMD and Intel platforms.

To add to Nvidia’s statement, we remember Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang stating in April that customers will find value in Nvidia “motherboard GPUs” once Intel releases Nehalem processors with built-in graphics cores. According to Huang, lengthy processor release cycles will leave plenty of room for quicker and more feature-rich integrated graphics chipsets. 

Comments closed
    • Tarx
    • 11 years ago

    Their integrated GPU and SLI are the two advantages for the Intel chipset market.
    On the AMD side there is 780G that is a strong competitor to Nvidia, but AFAIK Nvidia’s chipset is still competitive. But I can see that OEMs would prefer a combined solution with AMD if the price difference is small so one less supplier to deal with.
    With ATI/AMD no longer providing chipsets for Intel, and Intel/SIS with a fairly weak integrated GPU, is the Nvidia chipset for Intel so poor that their powerful integrated GPU not enough for them to have a profitable market?

    • sjankech
    • 11 years ago

    I’m thinking that instead of leaving the chipset business they are being forced out. AMD no longer needs them to make chipsets so maybe they’ll revoke the license and bye bye Nvidia. Not like Nvidia was good to AMD recently anyways. They have been releasing Intel based chipsets ahead of the AMD versions I believe.

    Intel doesn’t want Nvidia in the chipset business so they won’t give a license either and poof Nvidia is out of the chipset buisiness instantly.

    • fwibbler
    • 11 years ago

    Just to balance things out, I had an nforce 4 based mobo (ASUS A8N-E) and it was great. No problems, no compatability problems, rock solid stable board with no oddities whatsoever.
    Also had an MSI K9N platinum board based on the nforce 570 ultra chipset that was every bit as good.
    I’d still happily be using them both now if AMD had made faster processors to use in them.

      • Usacomp2k3
      • 11 years ago

      DFI LanParty Ultra-D here. The nForce4 chip worked great, from XP to XP-64 to Vista to Vista-64. Narry a problem. (Also ran my RAM @ 500mhz and the cpu @ 25% overclock.

    • Ihmemies
    • 11 years ago

    I couldn’t care less. The nForce 4 based mobo I have now has been the most horrible I’ve ever had. No more nVidia chipsets for me, until other manufacturers start to suck even more (highly unlikely).

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 11 years ago

    This sortof flies in the face of the nVidia-based macbook refresh rumor. Is it TR’s policy to give ink to stories that are 60%+ bunk?

      • Damage
      • 11 years ago

      If we are debunking, sure.

        • ssidbroadcast
        • 11 years ago

        Fair enough, I feel bad for nVidia since this newstory doesn’t seem to make sense.

    • eitje
    • 11 years ago

    of course they’re not making any more chipsets.

    From here on out, they’re making motherboard GPUs.

    • MarioJP
    • 11 years ago

    I am not surprised, especially when sli is locked only to their chipset.

    • Krogoth
    • 11 years ago

    Geez, it seems like Nvidia is taking the beating from every front.

    I can understand why their chipset division is hurting. On the Intel front, they only got SLI for an inferior performing and less stable platform. On the AMD front, it is mostly the same except AMD’s integrated solutions are kicking Nvidia’s tail.

    • indeego
    • 11 years ago

    Most companies have PR policies that they state they don’t respond to rumors. I guess Nvidia works a little differentlyg{<.<}g

      • WaltC
      • 11 years ago

      Good point. nVidia’s a wee bit too sensitive in this response. I would simply have said, “Generally we don’t respond to rumor and speculation, but in this case let me just say that this rumor has no legs at all!” and let it go at that. OTOH, it was a PR-type who penned this response, and I expect verbosity from those folks…;)

        • indeego
        • 11 years ago

        I love their canned response. Almost as if a computer wrote itg{<:<}g [technology]+[length of time in market]+[ecstatic exclamation about how well it has worked]+[marketing BS]

      • jmke
      • 11 years ago

      uhm.. might want to check the date on that, CFO announced his RETIREMENT in March….

    • maxxcool
    • 11 years ago

    third option : sell the IP and desgins and some team members to apple … get kickbacks and cross license some of apples IP to fight intel.

      • DASQ
      • 11 years ago

      Apple shares IP?

    • WaltC
    • 11 years ago

    Yes, nVidia has been a strong chipset supplier for AMD core logic for a long time–longer than ATi, obviously. I would expect the 60% share number to shrink rapidly now, though, as AMD’s ATi chipsets and their new IGP’s have matured nicely, especially for Phenom, and are ramping up in production. The problem with SLI, of course, is as it has always been–it’s proprietary. I agree that the notion of nVidia dumping its core-logic business is very unlikely to be true.

    I will engage in a bit of speculation, however, that this announcement might have its roots in the sour grapes of some motherboard vendors stung by the recently well-publicized problems nVidia’s had with other products. If nVIdia upsets some of these people by stalling on warranty replacements or stonewalling on other fronts, I can definitely see this attitude toward nVidia chipsets coming out of Taiwanese motherboard makers. They don’t much care who you are–if you piss ’em off, they’ll come back at you…;) They’ve done it often enough in the past with Intel–there’s nothing about nVidia they find particularly intimidating, either. One of the reasons nVidia and AMD-supporting chipsets have done so well in the past has been the gusto with which the Taiwanese mobo makers used them to circumvent the will of Intel. If they feel nVidia is getting too big for its britches, too, they’ll give nVidia the same treatment. Rumors like this reflect that nVIdia’s definitely got some PR problems with some of these companies, imo.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    r{

      • WaltC
      • 11 years ago

      Just wanted to chime in that I’m having 0 compatibility problems with my 4850 Crossfire rig at the moment–besides, I like “weird” anyway…:D

        • clone
        • 11 years ago

        as is always the case with ATI all that is needed is time.

        ATI is always slow out of the gate but offers far longer support that winds up being better in the end.

        additionally they have commited themselves to Crossfire for all of their high end solutions meaning native support for all new games will be a must whenever they release X2’s which is all good for those opting to Crossfire.

      • BKA
      • 11 years ago

      Whats weird about crossfire drivers? Used both SLI and Crossfire and had no problems with either.

      • A_Pickle
      • 11 years ago

      I just about choked on a potato chip when I read that.

        • Meadows
        • 11 years ago

        Bless you.

      • indeego
      • 11 years ago

      Man that red text on blue background hurts the eyes. And, I–of course–am wearing the goggles/[

    • UberGerbil
    • 11 years ago

    The real revenue in chipsets is OEM sales. The only justification for getting out of that business would be that they were losing OEM business and saw no way to turn that around. Obviously this recent overheating debacle leaves them with a bit of a black eye with the major OEMs, but — as long as nVidia addresses it promptly and adequately — that in itself shouldn’t erode that business to the point of making it a dead end. Nehalem poses a bigger challenge: if nVidia can’t get the bus license it needs to work with QPI (or it can’t reverse-engineer it in a lawsuit-proof way) then it is locked out of 80+% of the market going forward. Of course DigiTimes was reporting a couple of weeks ago that nVidia had obtained such a license (also based on “sources at motherboard makers”), though AFAIK no one else has confirmed that. So I don’t know how much credence to give that report or this one.

      • Helmore
      • 11 years ago

      Your 80% figure is a little off. I know that Intel serves about 80% of the market, but their future high volume sales will be socket LGA1160 chips and these do not have QPI but use DMI (that’s the current interface between the northbridge and southbridge on an Intel chipset). DMI is basically a small extension to the PCIe spec and I think that Intel will surely grant NVIDIA with a license to use that. So not having a QPI license would lock them out of about 5% of the total desktop market. The notebook market will, most likely, solely use the DMI interface, while servers will solely use QPI although I don’t even know whether NVIDIA has ever made server chipsets for Intel CPUs.

    • Hance
    • 11 years ago

    I just dont see Nvidia getting out of the chipset business. They have some really good products for them to bail out on that side of the business would be nuts.

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