Nvidia can’t compete without CPU, says Intel boss

Nvidia can’t compete without CPU, says Intel boss

Intel's CEO, Paul Otellini, says that Nvidia isn't in a strong position to compete without its own microprocessor technology.

The increasingly fierce war of words between Intel and Nvidia saw no sign of abating yesterday, as Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini took a swipe at its new tech nemesis at a tech conference in San Francisco. Rather than focusing on Nvidia’s Ion platform, which has been the recent target of Intel’s recent ire, Otellini instead focused on Nvidia’s GPU technology.

According to CNet, Otellini said that Nvidia wasn’t in a strong position to compete, saying that "If you don't have a microprocessor, what else do you have to sell?” This counters Nvidia’s recent claims that GPUs will play a big part in the future of computing with technologies such as CUDA.

Reacting to Intel’s decision to sue Nvidia, the graphics company’s president and CEO, Jen-Hsun Huang, claimed in a statement that "the CPU has run its course and the soul of the PC is shifting quickly to the GPU. This is clearly an attempt to stifle innovation to protect a decaying CPU business."

However, Otellini argued that “the graphics subsystem for most machines will be subsumed into the microprocessor. So what Nvidia is doing is making an argument to defend the status quo.]” Two weeks ago, Intel revealed its first CPU with an integrated graphics core, which offers an improved equivalent of the integrated graphics found in Intel’s current G45 chipset. Intel recently claimed that its current integrated graphics systems account for 50 percent of the graphics market at the moment.

Otellini also added that people who wanted faster graphics performance could still buy a separate graphics card. "You can buy it from them or you can buy it from us," said Otellini, referring to Intel’s forthcoming Larrabee graphics chip, which performs 3D acceleration on x86 processors rather than the huge banks of simple, scalar stream processors found in today’s traditional GPUs.

Is Intel right to dismiss GPGPU computing, and does Nvidia really need its own CPU technology to compete in this industry? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

Via CNet


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ChaosDefinesOrder 26th February 2009, 10:22 Quote
I read this as "we want nVidia to make a CPU so that we can charge them licensing fees to use x86"
Arkanrais 26th February 2009, 10:24 Quote
*continues to eat popcorn and sit in chair*
p3n 26th February 2009, 10:26 Quote
I hope Larrabe is twice as good as whatever nvidia can come up with, the lack of growth in actual speed is such a joke; probably because AMD cocked up so often...
[USRF]Obiwan 26th February 2009, 10:30 Quote
Matrox FTW :D
Tyrmot 26th February 2009, 10:38 Quote
given the stories last week that nV was 'secretly' working on a x86 chip perhaps this latest outburst is ill-advised? Or is Intel trying to force nV to show its hand....? v interesting. I see no downside to nV producing x86 chips in any case, particularly as Intel have Larabee on the way
wuyanxu 26th February 2009, 10:41 Quote
i think Intel has forgotten the days when they were the under-performers when competing with MIPS and other RISC processors.

with some tweaking, nVidia or ATI doesn't need a stupidly large x86 processor at all. Intel is scared.
perplekks45 26th February 2009, 10:51 Quote
They didn't forget these times. It's always been like this: Whoever is/feels stronger start bashing the other. I WANT nVidia to produce an x86 based chip... more competition can't be bad.

Now I'll join Arkanrais if you don't mind... sweet or salty?
KoenVdd 26th February 2009, 11:25 Quote
Awwww, isn't it sweet. It's like two newly weds or rather nearly weds constantly bickering.
GFC 26th February 2009, 11:47 Quote
"You can buy it from them or you can buy it [with only 1% of horsepower] from us". Here you go, fixed that.
perplekks45 26th February 2009, 12:01 Quote
Do you know something we don't know, GFC? Who said Larrabee will only have 1%? :|
V3ctor 26th February 2009, 12:29 Quote
Originally Posted by wuyanxu
with some tweaking, nVidia or ATI doesn't need a stupidly large x86 processor at all. Intel is scared.

If that was the issue, then I think AMD will be selling their Phenom II 4870 very soon... It's not that easy to make x86 code run on a GPU
Trefarm 26th February 2009, 12:42 Quote
BORING.... where are the pistol duels, cage fights or battle of wits over which cup is poisoned...

Why not wait until you actually have a product before shooting your mouth off?
Burnout21 26th February 2009, 13:23 Quote
At this point i kinda wish AMD would go and drop an awesome solution to this debate right on the table out of no where, which blows Nvidia and Intel out the water.

AMD did the right thing in buying ATI, yeah sales dropped like hell when Coreduo came out, and there line of AM2 CPU's sucked.

However they are now producing solid plateforms for there CPU's and good stability with there own line of GPU's.

If i was Intel i wouldn't be worried about x86 on GPU, i would be worried about a cost effective plateform AMD could slap on us.

Imagin a motherboard with highend onboard graphics processing linked with a Quad core, basically a PS3 that runs windows, but upgradable via PCI-E slots, etc
Timmy_the_tortoise 26th February 2009, 13:28 Quote
If intel are going to dismiss GPGPU processing, then why the hell are they making a GPU out of x86 architecture?

Intel are losing my respect at an exponential rate with all this trash talk. I just hope Larrabee is actually worth waiting for.
wuyanxu 26th February 2009, 13:53 Quote
Originally Posted by V3ctor
If that was the issue, then I think AMD will be selling their Phenom II 4870 very soon... It's not that easy to make x86 code run on a GPU
no one said anything about x86 on GPGPU.

i was talking about modifying CUDA or OpenCL supersets C compilers to be able to run C programs without the need of a x86 processor.
n3mo 26th February 2009, 14:54 Quote
Intel grew too arrogant over the years. That's why I never buy anything made by them.
Larrabee will be nothing really exciting - it is good on paper, but Intel has a long history of making things great on paper but crappy in reality (think Netburst, Itanium, Xeons).

I have a dream in which nVidia teams with Via to make something really worthwhile - Via has the potential and the know-how, nVidia has the money and motivation. This could end up with something awesome and really innovative, like the recent ARM-based netbooks (good performance with HD capability, no heat or noisy cooling systems at all, small and compact with hours and hours of battery life. And i mean lots of hours - quoted 15 to 24 under load. And the best part - no Windows)
lnwolfy 26th February 2009, 16:04 Quote
ever since AMD purcheded ATI its been a head to head fight between nVidia and Intel, add to that the current economic climate, and you get a surface picture of whats going on. I seem to get a feel that the tide is shifting again, and something is srsly going to change
Anakha 27th February 2009, 01:26 Quote
Doesn't nVidia own ULi now? And didn't ULi have an Intel license (For their M6117 Integrated unit, a 386SX SOC)?

I'm sure nVidia, with a little help from the guys at Via/Transmeta, could make a "Code Morphing" processor, to run x86 on a GPU...

Just a thought...
-EVRE- 27th February 2009, 04:20 Quote
Nvidia and VIA.. hmm, I like the idea of that pairing. I wonder if either/both has what it takes to produce a competitive processor.
Burnout21 27th February 2009, 09:43 Quote
problem wth nvidia, is that they price there hardware much like Intel.

Nvidia motherboards, drove the prices up from the usual £100 for a high end board to the not so uncommon price of £200+

So a joint program with VIA might result in a processor to compete with the likes of intel and AMD, but most likely priced out of the market.

Nvidia should look into the moblie market, low power HD devices that are dirt cheap, as this is where the market is shifting to rapidly.

MS keeping trying to destroy PC gaming, its becoming much easier to game on a console at a fraction of the cost of a PC. The next gen of consoles fingers crossed will be far more stable.

I think home computing will change in a big way. Alot of us are already running are own servers! MS developement of home server OS and its media extenders.

All low power devices, cheap and more specialised for each purpose. Like a HTPC, a nettop, games console, and a home server/NAS. few of us may have a workstation aswell.
seveneleven 27th February 2009, 21:28 Quote
"You can buy it from them or you can buy it from us"
NO, WE CAN NOT...(yet)
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