Nvidia is trying to make an x86 chip

With no licence, this is going to be fun to watch

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This article has had some of the original links removed, and was published on Friday, February 06, 2009 at 6:21 PM.

LAST AUGUST, WE said that Nvidia would not introduce an x86 part at their spectacularly successful Nvision show. We also said they would have to be mighty stupid to try to make one, and guess what, we were right again.

Word reached us a bit ago that Nvidia is definitely working on an x86 chip and they are heavily recruiting x86 engineers all over silicon valley. The history behind this is here and here, and can be summarized by saying they bought an x86 team almost wholly intact, and don’t have a license to make the parts. Given that they burned about every bridge imaginable with the two companies who can give them licenses, Nvidia has about a zero chance of getting one.

There are options to take like fabbing at IBM, but that won’t stop the lawyers. Claiming you are getting around the issue with a Transmeta-like approach will likely end up in a long lawsuit as well. Basically what it comes down to is that Nvidia is trying to get into the x86 business, and doesn’t seem to care much about ‘laws’ and ‘legality’ when doing so.

More humorous is how they are going to try and spin the whole “CPUs don’t matter at all” screed that they have been on lately. “They don’t matter, and x86 really doesn’t matter, but we are going to do it anyway just because it doesn’t matter” or something. Trying to chart a path of logic through their proclamations violates all the laws of thermodynamics, several laws of physics, probably several US laws, and makes the underpants gnomes scratch their heads. Bravo guys, it will be fun to watch.

That said, Nvidia may not be officially hiring, but I am guessing there will be a whole lot of jobs at Intel legal opening up Monday morning. Look for them here.S|A

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Charlie Demerjian

Roving engine of chaos and snide remarks at SemiAccurate
Charlie Demerjian is the founder of Stone Arch Networking Services and SemiAccurate.com. SemiAccurate.com is a technology news site; addressing hardware design, software selection, customization, securing and maintenance, with over one million views per month. He is a technologist and analyst specializing in semiconductors, system and network architecture. As head writer of SemiAccurate.com, he regularly advises writers, analysts, and industry executives on technical matters and long lead industry trends. Charlie is also a council member with Gerson Lehman Group. FullyAccurate