The war of words and bad blood between Intel and Nvidia continues to spiral out of control, and Intel is back at it again. After making some rather pointed remarkets about Ions shortcomings, Intel decoded the time was right to warn the geek masses about Nvidia’s impending doom at the Goldman Sachs Technology conference in San Francisco. According to Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini, Nvidia is merely trying to defend the status quo, and that Larrabee will be the future choice for those in search of powerful dedicated graphics solutions. Oddly enough, Intel choose its words very carefully and mysteriously made no mention of AMD’s ATI division.
Most enthusiasts I’m sure see these statements as a bit overconfident, and the 2010 release of Larrabee is the real wild card in the equation. Even if Intel manages to churn out the most powerful GPU, it’s unlikely they would have the type of driver optimization, developer support, or backwards compatibility that have made the ATI/ Nvidia GPU’s the most important component in any gaming PC. Clearly however, dedicated GPU companies should be concerned over CPU+GPU solutions for mainstream users. If GP-GPU applications don’t take hold in time to win over the mainstream consumer, Nvidia and ATI risk find themselves severing a much smaller niche market that could be devastating to both companies.
What do you think? Is this just corporate posturing at its best? Hit the jump and let us know what you think.
Once Intel turned its spat personal with Nvidia by slamming the GPU maker's Ion platform, which came after Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang charged Intel with attempting to "stifle innovation to protect a decaying CPU business," which came after Intel sued Nvidia over a Nehalem license, which came after what looked to be a truce between the two companies when Nvidia finally loosened its license on SLI technology for use on Intel's X58 chipset...where were we again? Ah yes, it was Nvidia's turn to publicly respond to Intel's Ion bashing in "Oh no he didn't!" fashion, and so the GPU maker has fired back with a 13-page document in defense of Ion.
While Intel's document pleads with vendors to not buy the hype surrounding Ion, Nvidia's document, titled "Nvidia Response to Intel Claims on Ion," says that the Ion gives a "faster, more feature rich, better experience." The company also dedicates three pages to quotes from Microsoft, software and game developers, and technical publications in an attempt to refute Intel's claim about a lack of support for Ion.
It's not quite the 'go-for-the-throat' verbiage we've recently come to expect from these two companies, though Nvidia did take a few jabs at Intel's Atom platform. Nvidia referred to its MCP79M/MCP7A-based Ion as a "modern 2 chip solution" compared to Intel's "4-year-old 3 chip design." Nvidia also contends that Intel's upcoming Pineview, an Atom chip with an on-die IGP, will just force consumers to use Intel graphics rather than improve performance and expand CPU support like the second-gen Ion will do.
Oh, and Nvidia did include a giant VIA Nano logo next to four smaller Intel CPU logos, which in geekville is the equivalent of flipping someone the bird. Atta boy, Nvidia.
Forget about a woman scorned - Hell hath no fury like Intel and Nvidia going at each other, both in and out of the courtroom. After being sued by Intel last week over a Nehalem chipset license, Nvidia president and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang responded by saying the suit was "clearly an attempt to stifle innovation to protect a decaying CPU business." And in a related press release, Huang pointed out how much better Nvidia's Ion platform is compared to Intel's current three chip design.
Now a week later, the latest episode of "As the Chipset World Turns" has Intel reportedly slamming Nvidia's Ion platform. According to news and review site Bit-Tech, Intel is sending out a document titled "Nvidia Ion Competitive Positioning Guide," which includes everything Intel sees wrong with the platform.
As we inch ever close to episode 100, the team still has yet to decide on an appropriate way to celebrate. Live broadcast? video podcast? Only time will tell. But this week, the more pressing issue is the complete absence of the senior members of the staff. With Will and Gordon MIA (possibly off to renewal), the podcast is helmed by a crew of fresh face editors -- the 25 and under club. The gang discusses Intel's new dispute with Nvidia, Boxee's divorce with Hulu, and the ongoing Pirate Bay trial. Everybody shares their personal list of essential Windows apps, and we try to answer a few listener questions (mostly unsuccessfully). But even without Gordon's wisdom and rage, a rant finds its way into episode 97.
Do you have a tech question? A comment? A tale of technological triumph? Just need to get something off your chest? A secret to share? Email us at email@example.com or call our 24-hour No BS Podcast hotline at 877.404.1337 x1337--operators are standing by.
Nvidia this week released new WHQL GeForce drivers for GeForce 6, 7, 8, 9, and 200-series owners. The new drivers, version 182.06, promise around a 10 percent performance increase in Fallout 3 at high resolution with AA, F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin, Half Life 2 at high resolution with AA, the insanely entertaining Left 4 Dead at high resolution with AA, and Race Driver: GRID, also at high resolution with AA.
In addition to double-digit performance boosts, Nvidia says its new drivers include full support for OpenGL 3.0 on GeForce 8, 9, and 200 series GPUs and automatically installs the new PhysX software (version 9.090203. The drivers also fix a bug in Vista 32-bit where GeForce 9800 GTX/GX2/GT/GTX+ and 8800 GTS/GT/GS owners experienced a system hang when switching between performance states.
This is starting to get ugly. It's bad enough watching Intel and Nvidia go at each other over licensing disputes (remember how long we waited for SLI on Intel chipsets?), but the two aren't showing any signs of letting up. In response to Intel's recent lawsuit, which alleges Nvidia has no right to produce chipsets that are compatible with any Intel processor that has an integrated memory controller, the GPU/chipset maker had some choice words for Intel.
"We are confident that our license, as negotiated, applies," said Jen-Hsun Huang, president and CEO of Nvidia. "At the heart of this issue is that the CPU has run its course and the soul of the PC is shifting quickly to the GPU. This is clearly an attempt to stifle innovation to protect a decaying CPU business."
Huang has never been one to mince words, at one time declaring his company would "open a can of whoop-ass." Now less than a year later, the quote-worthy CEO has declared the CPU just another run-of-the-mill component taking a backseat to the GPU.
Nvidia's press release went on to talk up the company's Ion platform, and was quick to point out that it "offers 10x the performance of Intel's current three chip design." Huang also said that given the broad and growing adoption of Nvidia's platforms, including the Ion, he's not the least bit surprised Intel is disputing a four-year-old contract.
You know that couple that is always at odds with each other, turning parties and other get-togethers into awkward affairs? The worst part is when they both turn to you to pick a side, and all you're trying to do is have a good time. For power users, that couple is Intel and Nvidia. We don't know what it is with these two, but just when their relationship appears to be on an upswing, another squabble breaks out.
After years of butting heads, Intel and Nvidia just recently came to agreement over licensing the GPU maker's SLI technology for use on Intel chipsets, and all appeared to be right in the world. But now the two are at it again, this time with Intel taking the offensive. Intel has filed suit against Nvidia this week claiming that the four-year old chipset license agreement between the two does not cover both its current and any future CPUs with integrated memory controllers.
"Intel has filed suit against Nvidia seeking a declaratory judgment over rights associated with two agreements between the companies," Intel said in a statement. "The suit seeks to have the court declare that Nvidia is not licensed to produce chipsets that are compatible with any Intel processor that has integrated memory controller functionality, such as Intel’s Nehalem microprocessors and that Nvidia has breached the agreement with Intel by falsely claiming that it is licensed. Intel has been in discussions with Nvidia for more than a year attempting to resolve the matter but unfortunately we were unsuccessful. As a result Intel is asking the court to resolve this dispute."
Nvida contends that the license agreement is still valid, however admits that it has been "working with Intel to come to some kind of agreement" for the past year. And despite the lawsuit, Nvidia says it has no plans of changing its roadmap, including those chipsets which extend to future processors.
While waiting for Nvidia to release SLI profiles for newly released games is indeed glamorous, it looks like EVGA is taking initiative into their own hands and releasing what they like to call the EVGA SLI Enhancement Patch.
This workaround basically adds SLI profiles created by EVGA before Nvidia adds their own versions to their drivers. According to EVGA, they’re looking to have SLI support for games available within one day of release.
Currently, they’re only supporting users with Windows Vista, but if demand by XP users is great enough they certainly won’t rule out the possibility. If you’re looking to check it out, feel free to download it here (registration required).
Nvidia this week unveiled a new platform that ties its Tegra 600 Series 'computer-on-a-chip' technology with a $99 always-on, always-connected HD mobile internet device (MID). According to Nvidia, devices built around the new platform can last for days before it becomes necessary to charge the battery.
"Mobile internet devices have evolved to provide consumers with the performance and connectivity required by today’s lifestyle," said Michael Rayfield, general manager of the mobile business unit at NVIDIA. "Until now, consumers could get just another ‘gadget’ with limited functionality or a PC that’s not ‘always on’. A Tegra-based platform combines the best of both worlds."
In addition to a super-long battery life, Nvidia says its Tegra MID will be capable of both 720p and 1080p video playback and come equipped for full WiFi and 3G connectivity. The company also says the hardware will be optimized for Web 2.0 applications and utilize a complete software solution consisting of Microsoft Windows Embedded CE OS, application viewers, an internet browser, UI framework, a web mail client, and host of other goodies.
Too good to be true? Time will tell, but if Nvidia can deliver on all that it's promising, some very compelling devices could wind up in the market place. The graphics chip maker has indicated it is working with manufacturers who will build the new MIDs, the first of which are expected to show up in the second half of 2009.
According to Nvidia’s General Manager of MCP business, Drew Henry, the first Ion-based PC will be a nettop that will sell for around $299.
The Ion platform, which has passed Microsoft Windows Vista WHQL certification, will be able to support high-definition multimedia graphics processing.
Mr. Henry did mention that Nvidia was considering a possible partnership with VIA Technologies to create a low-cost PC platform, but other than that there’s no word yet availability. It’s expected that the nettop will be shipping June of this year.