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Rumour: Nvidia considering buying stake in VIA

Rumour: Nvidia considering buying stake in VIA

Nvidia is reportedly in talks with VIA about buying a stake in the company.

Nvidia has already revealed that it plans to enter the x86 CPU market at some point, but this could be a problem when you consider that Nvidia doesn’t have an x86 license from Intel, and its relationship with Intel is currently looking rockier than a rockery at the Hard Rock Café. This could be a part of the reason why Nvidia is rumoured to be in talks with VIA about buying up shares in the Taiwanese chip company.

According to DigiTimes, VIA plans to sell 300 million new shares at a price between NT$9 and NT$12 (£0.19 - £0.25) via private placement. More importantly, however, the site claims to have spoken to market sources who revealed that Nvidia is in talks with VIA to buy a portion of the new shares.

VIA’s current Investor Relations FAQ states that 1,309,236,885 shares had been issued as of September 2007. As such, an extra 300 million shares could account for almost a fifth of the company’s ownership. DigiTimes says that VIA wouldn’t reveal whether it was indeed in talks with Nvidia, but did say that it would announce the possible candidates for the private placement after a shareholder meeting on 19 June.

Nvidia declined to comment on the rumour when we asked the company earlier. However, while owning a stake in VIA wouldn’t get Nvidia an x86 license, it could potentially mean that VIA could produce specific x86 CPUs for Nvidia’s purposes. Plus, Nvidia also has an interest in keeping VIA well-funded, as the new Ion 2 platform will support VIA’s Nano CPUs as well as Intel’s Atom CPU. Nvidia recently claimed that Intel’s next-generation “Pineview” Atom CPUs would “force” customers to use Intel integrated graphics, so Nvidia is going to need VIA if it wants to keep its next-generation Ion platform alive.

Would it make sense for Nvidia to invest in VIA? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

11 Comments

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azrael- 30th March 2009, 11:15 Quote
Makes perfect sense. As does changing nVidia to nVIA... :)
ChaosDefinesOrder 30th March 2009, 11:57 Quote
nVIAdia?
nicae 30th March 2009, 13:15 Quote
Atom would be in deep trouble if NVIDIA and VIA promote Nano+Ion2 machines as the true mobile gaming platform. Yet, we still can't really find Nano products in the open, let alone Ion 1.

I hope NVIDIA could give VIA the push they need against Intel's Atom bullying.
Yemerich 30th March 2009, 13:35 Quote
I hope thats true. Would be very nice to see that partnership.
Flibblebot 30th March 2009, 13:50 Quote
Well, it's obvious that Intel have plans to try and go it alone, without any partnerships, so it makes perfect sense for nVidia to try and go out to get some new friends to play with.

Nehemiah (or its successor) + Ion could really be an Atom-beater, Via certainly have a lot more experience in the low-power market than Intel.
pizan 30th March 2009, 14:30 Quote
AMD/ATI vs nVidia/VIA vs Intel

Let the battle royal begin...winner is IBM???
nicae 30th March 2009, 15:43 Quote
Winner is ARM?
HourBeforeDawn 30th March 2009, 17:29 Quote
could they be buying into it for the engineers for the cpu they are trying to make so they can start suporting ray tracing in their gpus?
nicae 30th March 2009, 20:31 Quote
I would say the scope is much wider. Both AMD and Intel plan to make chips that combine CPU and GPU abilities, and it's also very interesting to offer a complete platform (Chipset, CPU and GPU). As you can see, NVIDIA is left out with it's sole GPUs and chipsets and VIA with it's CPUs and chipsets. I must also remember that NVIDIA has it's chipsets being contested by Intel.

The idea is to defend the company in the long term, business-wise.
yakyb 31st March 2009, 10:32 Quote
this is great news with the nano apparently outperforming the atom (although not being availible anywhere!!) the ion should go from strength to strength (well relative strength!)
Horizon 31st March 2009, 23:52 Quote
Would a merger between the two companies void VIA's license?
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