It has been rumoured for a while now that nVIDIA will be developing an x86 processor, backed up by their recent headhunting activities.  PC Authority has gathered a couple of links on the history as well as a theory on how they will try to develop the chip. There are two very big obstacles for the graphics giant to overcome, the first of which is trying to successfully design an x86 chip from the ground up, during a time when money is short and focusing on their graphics processors would probably bring in more money.  The second problem arises only if they actually manage to successfully design a chip.  Intel owns so many patents integral to the design of x86 processors that nVIDIA’s chip will be tied up by lawyers and red tape for long enough that it will go obsolete before it ever hits the market.

“Last August, we said that Nvidia would not introduce an x86 part at the 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 the firm is heavily recruiting x86 engineers all over Silicon Valley.

The history behind this is here and here, and can be summarised by saying they bought an x86 team almost fully, and don’t have a licence to make the parts. Given that the firm burned about every bridge imaginable with the two companies who can give them licences, Nvidia has about a zero chance of getting one.”

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