updated 09:05 am EST, Mon November 9, 2009
NVIDIA says GPUs still only focus
NVIDIA chief Jen-Hsun Huang has denied rekindled talk of his company making x86 processors. Speaking after a conference call, the CEO claims that his focus is still "very, very clear" and that the focus is on graphics processors and closely related parallel computing cards like the Tesla line. The only full processors that NVIDIA is making are mobile chips like the ARM-based Tegra series for handhelds, Huang tells CNET.
Rumors of a fully Intel-compatible NVIDIA processor have surfaced more than once without additional supporting information, though the company has said that its emphasis on system-on-a-chip designs like Tegra might lead it to x86 in the future. The ongoing licensing dispute with Intel has also led to speculation that NVIDIA would make its own x86 chip as an end-run around Intel's refusal to allow certain chipsets under an existing license.
During the call itself, NVIDIA also said it would push back the launch of cards based on its Fermi architecture to sometime in its first quarter of calendar 2010, which starts in late January and finishes in late April. The next-generation architecture had originally been expected by late 2009 but has been delayed for unspecified reasons. When it ships, the series is expected to first debut as the GeForce 300 series with high-end desktop cards, and possibly lower-end notebook chips, leading the introductions.