Nvidias best success has been an integrated partnership with a proven CPU market!
To try and compete on their own they might be starting from scratch:P
They need to hurry up and end this law suit so everyone can move on :-)
Also Nvidia needs to make some sweet chipsets for the Core i7
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One part of the Intel-nVidia lawsuit is around licensing the QPI and DMI buses. Even if nVidia prevails it will be a hollow victory for them.
Consider, most of the current desktop and mobile parts connect via DMI to a peripheral component hub (PCH), which has the sata, usb, etc interfaces. There's very little nVidia would be bringing to the table in developing parts which would would connect to the CPU via the DMI interface. No one would connect a GPU to the CPU via DMI.
The current core i7-900 series parts (but not all i7 and no i5/i3) parts connect to the X58 chipset via the QPI bus, but the next generation parts will not These next gen parts will not use the QPI bus but will connect to the PCH via the DMI interface. So again there is no business model that makes sense for nVidia to develop a set of parts that would connect via QPI to the CPU.
The second part of the lawsuit (if I understand it) and the reason nVidia wanted the FTC to examine the case, involved a claim that Intel was improperly bundling the CPU and chipset for the N270 FSB based Atom processors. With the FTC settlement, it would appear that this part of their complaint would be mute and they would be hard pressed to claim and document damages. And the N270 based platforms are end of life for all intents and purposes, so how are they going to connect ION or similiar to future Intel processors.
And I see no way that a court would force Intel to bring back the FSB and there is a perfectly good open spec way to connect discrete GPUs to the CPUs, that is PCIe. And Intel continues, at least in their mainstream mobile and desktop lines to support this.
I still think that Intel should try and buy stocks from Nvidia, like AMD did with ATi, and then we will truly have a war on our hands.
>> between AMD and the EU, the CPU giant has been battling such allegations for years.
I know you guys have friends at Intel, but you're really softening the blow here. They're no longer "allegations", since they were proven. Intel has been found to be in violation of the laws and was penalized - not just in the EU, but in Japan and Korea as well. Also, you don't give $1.25B to someone who's making baseless claims.
>> If we assume that this lawsuit is part of NVIDIA's long-term strategy rather than a corporate axe-grinding
Again, you're making it look like this mess wasn't started by Intel. This Nvidia business all start when Intel sued Nvidia to block them from making i7 motherboard chipsets, right? The Nvidia lawsuit was a countersuit aimed at making Intel honor their contracts (which Nvidia interprets as covering i7).
I can't say for sure who's right in this case. I'm sure the lawyers on both sides wrote the contracts in such a way as to try to screw the other side out of as much as they could - surely making them an indecipherable mess. For all we know, the lawyers are in collusion to make money suing each other back and forth. :)
>> Even if the FTC held that Intel's Atom price structure was an abuse of power and validated NVIDIA's claim to possess a license to produce Core i7 chipsets, it's not clear NVIDIA would materially benefit as a result.
They might not be awarded a huge lump sum, but being able to once again produce motherboard chipsets would definitely benefit Nvidia (and us).
I, and surely a lot of others here, preferred the Nvidia chipset boards. Maybe that's why Intel decided to run them out of the chipset business with their lawsuit? All I can say for sure is that competition wouldn't hurt the price of motherboards.
What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?
Le sigh. Having friends at Intel has nothing to do with anything as relates to AMD/Intel antitrust coverage (and I've written a ton of it over the past five years). First of all, you need to understand the reality of the decisions and the bodies that gave them.
Intel has never been declared guilty in a court of law, ever. In the EU, Intel was investigated by DG-COMP. That's an administrative body. DG-COMP fined Intel; Intel is appealing that fine to a judicial body (The Court of First Instance). The CFI has not rendered a verdict, but even if the CFI upholds DG-COMP's decision, it doesn't automatically mean Intel has been found guilty. The court could essentially punt on that issue, by saying something along the lines of "We leave it to DG-COMP to determine what companies have or haven't broken the law."
Neither the Japanese nor the Korean judgements had the weight of law. In Japan, Intel agreed to abide by the FTC's recommendations while simultaneously disputing that any of the alleged conduct had occurred. Intel took more-or-less the same stance in Korea.
Unlike Microsoft, Intel never had to defend its guilt or innocence in a court of law. Keep in mind that the EU has different guidelines than the US when it comes to determining if a company has behaved in an anticompetitive/abusive manner. Specifically, in the EU, it's enough to prove that AMD was harmed by Intel's actions. In the US, AMD bore the additional burden of proving that *consumers* were harmed by Intel's actions. (Intel could still have been charged with violating RICO, but not with acting as a monopoly.)
Being able to produce chipsets gets us nothing. There's very little left for NVIDIA to differentiate on, which was my point.
>> but even if the CFI upholds DG-COMP's decision, it doesn't automatically mean Intel has been found guilty.
True. Good point.
>> Intel agreed to abide by the FTC's recommendations while simultaneously disputing that any of the alleged conduct had occurred.
But you have to acknowledge: When you have an army of the best lawyers available, but continually pay billion dollar fines and settlements rather than fight it out to a court judgement - it's almost certain you're doing *something* wrong (and don't want a judgement that will affect your stock more than the payoff).
The news today is that Intel has agreed to change their business practices in return for escaping another fine from the FTC. Believe it or not, that sounds better to me than a fine - I'd rather have them invest the money in the field and compete on price and innovation that keep paying fines with the profits of unfair business practices. Intel has proven time and time again that they can deliver better and better products when they're actually competing. I'll be interested to read what you have to write about it on the 22nd.
>> There's very little left for NVIDIA to differentiate on, which was my point.
But what differentiates brands of toilet papers and tires? Performance and price is all they need to develop a very profitable business. They should have the chance to compete in that market rather than be shut out via legal means (if they're correct in their understanding of the original agreement).
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