CLASH OF THE TITANS: NVIDIA AND INTEL DUKE IT OUT OVER CHIPSET LICENSE AGREEMENT

There is no love between NVIDIA and Intel this week. The legal dispute they are having concerns a 4 year old contract dealing with computer chipset licensing. Intel is claiming the contract doesn't apply to the newly release Core i7 Nehalem family of CPUs which feature an integrated memory controller. This also applies to all future Intel CPUs that feature integrated memory controllers.

If you don't know what a "chipset" is, here is a brief description. Basically, a computer chipset controls the handling of data between the CPU, RAM, and any peripheral devices (video card, sound card, network adapter etc). In the case of NVIDIA, their chipsets designs offer many features that are not available from Intel's own models. The most prominent feature NVIDIA offers is Scalable Link Interface (SLI) support for NVIDIA video cards. SLI can be used to link 2-3 NVIDIA video cards together to increase the graphics processing power of a PC. The only way to run NVIDIA cards in SLI on LGA 775 (Core 2 Duo) and older systems was to use an NVIDIA chipset based motherboard. With Intel's release of the Core i7 Nehalem CPU and X58 chipset, SLI is now available without using an NVIDIA chipset. Sounds like Intel has taken what it wanted from NVIDIA and is trying to kick them to the curb.

Full NVIDIA Press Release: NVIDIA Responds To INTEL Court Filing