A few weeks back, we highlighted Nvidia's supercomputer-powered "GeForce Experience" initiative, which wants to use the power of the cloud to scan your hardware and offer one-click graphics setting optimization for PC games. Nvidia announced another cloud-based graphics platform at the same time: the GeForce Grid, a Kepler-based GPU that gaming services can use to power games at a remote location, then stream them to you over an Internet connection. (Think OnLive, but powered by Nvidia.) Nvidia boss Jen-Hsun Huang says he thinks Grid's potential for cross-platform ubiquity could break down barriers and create legions of new gamers.
The Nvidia GTX 690 is real, and it's amazing -- both in specs and in price. But while the tech world swooned at the announcement of the dual-GPU behemoth, another new product outlined at the GTX 690's unveiling holds even more intriguing potential for the gaming world at large: the cloud-based "GeForce Experience," which promises to automatically optimize the graphics settings in games based on the components in your individual PC.
It’s not a big secret that Nvidia’s has been slowly pulling out of the PC chipset market for a while now: a quick Google search shows results for “Nvidia exit chipset business” as far back as 2008. Some people thought that the company would get back into the swing of things after signing a patent cross-licensing agreement with Intel back in January, ending a long and bitter legal battle. Nope, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang told a group of investors this week. Nvidia’s done with PC chipsets for good, and Intel’s the one to blame.
Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang said Nvidia has been virtually unaffected by Intel's initially flawed 6-series chipset and is still on the same schedule to ship Sandy Bridge-based products, CNet reports. Huang made the comments during a conference call earlier ths week, and in a change of pace from what we've come to expect from the candidly outspoken CEO, he even heaped on a bit of praise for the company he once promised to "open a can of whoop-ass" on.
One thing we appreciate about Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang is that he typically doesn't pull any punches. Rather than dance around marketing speak and typical PR rhetoric, the outspoken CEO gets straight to the point, oftentimes in a very candid manner. More recently, Huang got on the topic of chipsets, seemingly putting an official end to that part of Nvidia's business, Xbit Labs reports.
"We are not building any more chipsets, we are building SoCs now. We are building Tegra SoCs, and so we are going to take integration to a new level... The chipset business [has] not grown largely this year because we have not really been expanding the sales of it," Huang said.
Although Nvidia isn't building new chipsets, the GPU maker does intend to continue shippings its current products well into 2011.
"On the AMD side, our AMD chipset remains quite well positioned. My sense is that our chipset there will continue to ship throughout next year. The second thing is the MCP89, the latest and the last generation of Intel chipset that we built was just a really wonderful piece of engineering and the work that we did with Apple was great, and they are going to continue to use that for some time. So, I think that the tail off is just going to take a little longer than people expected. But I do not know exactly how long," Huang added.
None of this is really surprising, considering Intel essentially put the kibosh on a large part of Nvidia's chipset business. Prior to Nehalem, Nvidia was producing chipsets for Intel processors as part of a licensing agreement between the two firms, but Intel's stance is that the license only covers chips that don't contain an integrated memory controller.
Nvidia Chief Executive Jen-Hsun Huang has never shied from being bashful about where his company stands, having once promised to "open a can of whoop ass" on Intel. His latest comments aren't quite as colorful, but they're just as telling, and still manage to take a shot at the Santa Clara chip maker.
"Our CPU strategy is ARM," Huang told CNET when asked about the company's strategy for central processing units in smartphones and tablets. "ARM is the fastest growing processor architecture in the world today. ARM supports (Google's) Android best. And Android is the fastest growing OS in the world today."
Huang's comments come on the heel of Nvidia reporting a second-quarter net loss of $141 million, far worse than the $105.3 million net loss the graphics chip maker reported one year ago. Part of the reason for the disappointing quarter is that Nvidia is still paying for a defect in some of its earlier GPUs and chipsets. Back in 2008, Nvidia announced a charge somewhere between $150 million to $200 million to cover warranty costs associated with "weak die/packaging material" in older laptop models, and Nvidia said it has taken an "additional net charge" of $193.9 million for the same problem.
Hit the jump to find out if Nvidia plans on jumping back into the chipset business.
While giving a speech at the American University of Dubai, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang held nothing back in declaring his affection for Macs (while taking a dig at Intel in the process).
"Apple uses the best technology for their [computers]," Huang said. "Apple says to their customers: 'If you buy a computer from us, you can be sure we have selected the best technology inside for you.' Their promise to consumers isn't 'we've selected the best technology for you with the exception of what Intel allows us to use'. And that's why I'm all Apple! At home it's just Macs everywhere. It's Nvidia's technology in all of them but I use Macs. My son has two Macs, my daughter has a Mac, there's an extra Mac just in case, and my wife has a Mac. It's just Mac, Mac, Mac!"
Call us crazy, but we get th feeling Huang likes Macs. And that's well and good, so long as Nvidia keeps churning out high-powered videocards for those of us content to be controlled by Intel on the Windows-based PC platform.
On a side note, there's been a bit of buzz over the slick looking tablet pictured in front of Huang. The outspoken CEO didn't say a word about it -- or at least no one's reporting that he did -- leaving us to speculate. Could it be the long-rumored Apple tablet? Is it a Tegra-powered handheld? Maybe both.