Could Nvidia be Developing an x86 CPU?

Paul Lilly

Either news and rumor site The Inquirer is seriously stirring the pot between Intel and Nvidia, or the two companies are looking to move in on each other's territory. It first started last week when The Inq posted a report claiming Intel will design the PlayStation 4 GPU, not Nvidia, and further stating there's a good chance Microsoft's Xbox3 console will sport ATI hardware.

Now the rumor site says Nvidia is trying to make an x86 chip and has put the word out to engineers.

"Word reached us a bit ago that Nvidia is definitely working on a x86 chip and the firm is heavily recruiting x86 engineers all over Silicon Valley," The Inquirer wrote.

But there's a problem with the rumor, other than it being unconfirmed speculation at this point. If Nvidia seriously is considering putting out a x86 CPU, it would have to climb a legal mountain before doing so. Given how long it took Nvidia and Intel to come to licensing terms to combine SLI technology with Intel-based chipsets, it seems unlikely the two would come to another licensing agreement, this time involving x86 technology.

The other route Nvidia could take is to form an alliance with a company already possessing a x86 license, but assuming Nvidia could pull it off, and assuming Nvidia is interested in x86 chip design in the first place, the move would still likely end up in a lengthy court battle.

Thoughts on Nvidia developing a x86 CPU? Hit the jump and tell us what you think.

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