Nvidia’s Huang talks Intel chip bundling, legal action

AMD may have been the loudest voice against Intel’s alleged anti-competitive dealings, but that doesn’t make it the only one. As Reuters reports, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has also given his two cents in the aftermath of the European Commission’s antitrust action.

Huang spoke about the Atom processor, calling Intel’s custom of pricing Atom CPU-and-chipset bundles more attractively than lone processors “unfair.” The CEO even quoted figures: he claims an Atom CPU costs $45 by itself, but a three-chip bundle (presumably including an Atom processor, north bridge chip, and south bridge) is only $25.

Though he never mentioned actual prices, Intel CEO Paul Otellini himself recently confirmed the bundling tactic in a conference call about the European Commission’s $1.44-billion antitrust fine. Among other statements, Otellini commented, “We have historically offered better pricing to people that buy more products. Nothing new there.”

Atom chipset bundling might make it harder for Nvidia to promote its newly launched Ion platform chipset GPU. That said, Huang ruled out legal action against Intel—at least in the near term. “I hope it doesn’t come down to that,” he told Reuters. “We have to do whatever we have to do when the time comes. We really hope this company (Intel) will compete on a fair basis.” Nvidia said last month it expects more than 40 Ion-powered systems to launch by the end of September.

Comments closed
    • pogsnet
    • 10 years ago
      • MadManOriginal
      • 10 years ago

      Holy cow…I know this story quotes Huang as if he’s speaking the truth but do a little searching and use some logic too. The CPU b[

    • d0g_p00p
    • 10 years ago

    I must be the only one in the world who has never had a problem with nVidia’s chipsets. I have used and owned the nForce 1, 2, 3 & 4 without any issues. Granted I never used their firewall app but everything else worked without issues for me.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 10 years ago

    I think NV is starting to get really worried about their chipset options for Intel. They already are not able to make anything for Core i7, once Core i5 or successors replace the rest of Intel’s lineup they’ll be out on the desktop. Next gen Atom ‘Pineview’ will have an IMC and integrated graphics on-die, leaving only I/O for the southbridge. Intel might even try to entirely keep NV from making a chipset for it like the Core iX, if not there may not be a way to do external graphics and making an I/O chip seems pointless.

    If NV wants to keep up in the space Atom is intended for they need to keep advancing Tegra at the very least and probably give up on chipsets. Their chipsets were mostly underperforming at best and had serious problems at worst, the only outstanding thing they did was Soundstorm. They were fortunate to ride the wave as chipsets of choice when A64 was dominant but now AMDs own chipsets are better.

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      g{

        • MadManOriginal
        • 10 years ago

        The only semi-problem with AMD southbridges is AHCI mode and half the people using them say they’ve not got a problem. Are you talking about something else? Using IDE mode is a lot less worse than data corruption, PCI bus soundcard problems (popping), killing RAM, excessive power draw … the SB ‘problem’ which is pretty minor pales in comparison to NV chipset problems b[

    • cocobongo_tm
    • 10 years ago

    Get a load of this: “We have historically offered better pricing to people that buy more products. Nothing new there.” Then you should also be fined, historically! Like all the way back to early 80s! A billion dollar for every year of your existence! Yeah!

      • MadManOriginal
      • 10 years ago

      Your post seems to hint at being silly so not a big deal but it’s hard to name an industry where there is not a volume discount, especially in b2b transactions.

        • frenchy2k1
        • 10 years ago

        There is a slight difference between discounts:
        – chip A = $10
        – chip B = $15
        – chip A + chip B = $20

        And somewhat abusive pricing with
        – Chip A = $40
        – Chip B = $15
        – Chip A + Chip B = $25

        Intel is not discounting for volume, they are selling a pair of chips (CPU + Chipset) for cheaper than one (CPU alone). OEMs tend to use the cheaper chips to compete (especially in such a cost driven market as netbooks) and dont like to throw things away…

          • MadManOriginal
          • 10 years ago

          Your example is wrong because Huang is using fuzzy math along with twisted wording in his statement. The price of the CPU b[

          • green
          • 10 years ago

          l[

    • YeuEmMaiMai
    • 10 years ago

    aww poor nvidia complaining about unfair tactics when they are busy ass raping people on over priced pos video cards and refusing to man up and fix the mobile problem for all the affected users

    • shank15217
    • 10 years ago

    There is an inevitable merger between Nvidia and AMD in the future, mark my words.

      • stmok
      • 10 years ago

      You’re more likely see VIA join forces with Nvidia.
      => VIA has x86 processor experience and license. But crap IGPs.
      => Nvidia has good IGP, but no x86 processor.

      Better yet, Nvidia should buy VIA, so they can acquire the CPU design subsidiary: Centaur Technology.

      Nvidia won’t do it, as they want to sleep with Intel to maximize potential profits. Thus => Intel Atom + Nvidia Ion

      • UberGerbil
      • 10 years ago

      There’s nothing inevitable about it. It’s unlikely for a variety of reasons both legal and financial; it doesn’t even entirely make sense technologically or strategically.

      • DrDillyBar
      • 10 years ago

      Intel gets ATI.

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      Not so likely, because that merger would lead to a near-monopoly in the (discrete) GPU field.

    • DrDillyBar
    • 10 years ago

    The only reason Nvidia doesn’t want to buy the $25 bundle is because Intel will claim it shipped so much more then them. But the savings they get would cover the slight cost of throwing the useless chips into inventory. They could make keychains out of them and still save money.

      • Game_boy
      • 10 years ago

      If OEMs do buy the bundle and ignore the motherboard, Intel will soon realise the bundling isn’t working to increase their marketshare so will drop the bundle altogether (and lower the lone CPU to $25) to avoid giving away expensive silicon that isn’t used.

      Then they’ll offer the motherboard for free to those OEMs who want it.

      • Scrotos
      • 10 years ago

      Um, nvidia isn’t wanting to buy the bundle, they are complaining that other OEMs are buying the bundle and ignoring nvidia’s Ion. Or did I miss something?

      • Meadows
      • 10 years ago

      NVidia doesn’t build any platforms.

        • DrDillyBar
        • 10 years ago

        Yeah, too busy today to correct my thinking on it, and there’s no point now.

        • Mr Bill
        • 10 years ago

        Nvidia _[

          • Meadows
          • 10 years ago

          And as I said, chipsets don’t need CPUs.

            • clone
            • 10 years ago

            chipsets are built with the purpose of enabling a cpu to perform it’s functions.

            Intel builds chipsets & cpu’s & platforms and are leveraging that ability to edge out the competition… is it fair unfair…. time will tell.

            Nvidia wants to compete fairly and openly using it`s ability to produce and sell chipsets (AKA) platforms minus the cpu.

            how about we not debate in circles for the sake of obscurity.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 10 years ago

            TR comments don’t need Meadows either but no one is making a press release about it.

            buuuuuuuurrrrrrrnnnnnnn

            • eitje
            • 10 years ago

            In your world, what good can a chipset do WITHOUT a CPU?

            • Meadows
            • 10 years ago

            It can’t _[

            • DrDillyBar
            • 10 years ago

            Um; What?

          • YeuEmMaiMai
          • 10 years ago

          why yes they do,, crappy ones at that…..maybe they SHOULD use the Intel ones?

          • ludi
          • 10 years ago

          Right, but the OP was suggesting Nvidia buy the $25 bundle from Intel and discard the rest instead of buying the $40 discrete CPU component. Nvidia doesn’t build platforms and has no use for this suggestion, since they don’t buy either. They simply try to sell their chipset products to interested third parties.

            • Mr Bill
            • 10 years ago

            Regardless that ‘Nvidia does not build platforms’, they can hardly expect to sell their own chipsets when the “bundled with Intel chipset” price is less than unit CPU price. Given the marketing power of Intel, this may be a case of illegal tying.

            §[< http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Product_tying<]§

      • pogsnet
      • 10 years ago
    • Game_boy
    • 10 years ago

    If that’s true, why don’t Ion-desiring OEMs buy Atom + motherboard, throw away the motherboard and use Ion? The only way they couldn’t do that is if Intel are imposing additional restrictions like ‘to qualify for the bundle you must use the motherboard we give you’… which /[

      • cegras
      • 10 years ago

      I would guess that it is indeed involving ‘loyalty’ rebates as well as significant margin lost.

      Also, what’s with the recent trend of smarmy crossing outs? I enjoy them, but too many a day makes me feel bloated.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 10 years ago

        While there’s only one in an article today, there was one yesterday as well, and I agree – it’s kind of unprofessional.

        • Game_boy
        • 10 years ago

        What crossing-out? I didn’t use it and neither did the article.

          • Buzzard44
          • 10 years ago

          I believe he’s referring to

          l[<"...promote its newly launched Ion -[

            • Game_boy
            • 10 years ago

            Ah. Didn’t see it.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 10 years ago

      That’s what I’m thinking too. I suspect that Huang is blowing smoke by saying that the whole bundle costs $25 and that it’s actually $25 for the CPU i[

        • OneArmedScissor
        • 10 years ago

        For the longest time, I don’t think they even sold Atoms at all without them being soldered to a board already.

        That would explain why they wouldn’t just buy a cheaper bundle. It’s designed to lock them out. I’m sure Intel is well aware that their chipset blows, but that’s probably the equivalent of making motherboards out of spare parts to them.

        • green
        • 10 years ago

        agreed

        though the way i see it huang may be fudging the numbers slightly
        (which as a competitor to intel hes got every right to i suppose)
        but it’s more likely $45 for the CPU if you just order the 1 (non-bulk)
        then $25 for the cpu if you bundle and bulk buy 10-100 thousand

      • rohith10
      • 10 years ago

      I must ask you this:

      Why would any OEM buy a CPU+motherboard package then throw away that motherboard to use another from a competing manufacturer, given the facts that
      a) the initial motherboard wasn’t low on quality at all, and
      b) the market is cost-sensitive ?

        • Game_boy
        • 10 years ago

        I’m not saying all OEMs will do it (I expect few will). I’m saying that the $45/$25 thing presents /[

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