Firing Squad has cornered NVIDIA’s chipset guru, Drew Henry, in an attempt to get more information on the recently announced acquisition of ULi by the green giant.
If I was forced to speculate, I would suggest mobile chipsets and SATA-II. Although NVIDIA offers nForce3 mobile chipsets, they’ve been unusually quiet for the last few years. From this interview, we now know that 2006 will be the year that NVIDIA will return to the mobile market in greater force. The ULi acquisition could be beneficial because ULi has a license for Pentium M bus as well as a fully developed chipset. NVIDIA could adapt and augment technologies developed at ULi.

The second area for potential technology transfer is with SATA-II. Although NVIDIA’s SATA-II is good, Intel’s implementations have been better. Although we haven’t tested a modern ULi chipset ourselves, our colleagues at Anandtech recently published some benchmarks showing excellent SATA-II performance from the ULi chipset. Although it’s unlikely that improved SATA-II performance was the driving force for the acquisition, I would be surprised if NVIDIA did not adapt ULi’s SATA-II implementation into their next-generation product.