According to the Inquirer, a bunch of NVIDIA stock calls is raising the rumors once again of an Intel and NVIDIA buyout/merger.  Both that author and this author have serious doubts about it, but hey, its always fun to speculate!

The whispers appear to have been kick started by a report on Chinese television that Taiwanese board partners were gearing up for the changes. The speculation sent options trading in Nvidia into a spike, with 13,000 call options traded on Monday – the vast majority due to expire in less than three weeks, with traders betting that something big will happen to Nvidia’s stock before the end of January.

The move would certainly explain a lot of the odd goings on in Satan Clara over the past few months. The roll-out of new chipsets for both Intel and AMD platforms has been repeatedly delayed, there has been a slip from the expected arrival of a new bleeding-edge graphics card, and the amount of activity going on in terms of briefing journalists and keeping the mill grinding appears to have slowed up. Many have attributed this to a lack of competition from AMD, but it’s feasible that this is a by-product of chats with Intel.

Of course, such a buy-out, despite Intel’s admission that it had already looked at – and dismissed – the idea, is still extremely unlikely. Especially given the fact that DAAMIT has proved less than capable at executing either in the core processor or graphics spaces, where both Intel and Nvidia have seen their market advantages strengthened. Indeed, since AMD bought out ATI, Nvidia’s stock has grown 187 per cent.