NVIDIA x86 Rumor
NVIDIA may be stepping into the production of its own x86 processors if a rumor circulated by the Inquirer proves authentic. The video chipset producer has reportedly been hiring large numbers of engineers familiar with how to design for the foundations used in most Intel chips and has a virtually complete team. The company allegedly lacks a license for x86, however, and would likely face legal action from Intel as a result.
HP Firebird 800
HP's CES introductions are being headlined today by an entirely new entry to its desktop line. The Firebird 800 is built with help from the Voodoo sub-label and aims to take up the minimal amount of space of a small form factor desktop with the performance of a full tower, thanks to new Intel processors: new set of Core 2 Quad chips consume just 65W of power without losing features over previous 95W versions. A custom liquid cooling setup also cuts back on fan noise from the chip and simultaneously frees up space for accessing RAM and the two drop-in notebook hard drive bays.
HP Firebird 803 Leak
A new leak floated by Engadget has revealed both a new compact HP gaming PC as well as new technology by PC. Supporting hints by HP's Rahul Sood of a Voodoo-influenced new gaming PC, the Firebird 803 appears targeted at gamers who still hope to have relatively compact desktops and should provide gaming-level performance using a new low-power video array: the system will carry two previously unknown GeForce 9800S chips that take up less space and power than regular desktop chips but should perform better than mobile chips.
NVIDIA to stop chip making
According to an analyst with the Pacific Crest Securities, chipset manufacturer NVIDIA will stop making media and communications chipsets in 2009, representing 21 percent of the company‘s current revenue. While the Tuesday report notes that NVIDIA had flat-out denied similar rumors back in August, its partners AMD and Intel are both are breaking into the mainboard chipset business themselves, Intel with in-house efforts and AMD with the recent purchase of chipmaker ATI.
NVIDIA Transmeta License
NVIDIA today licensed a collection of technologies from Transmeta for $25 million that will potentially improve the power use of the former's graphics and mainboard hardware. The license primarily grants NVIDIA access to LongRun2, a technique to reduce the amount of waste power for processors and similar chips. The approach uses a combination of circuitry and advanced math to reduce the effect of leaking power as processors are made on smaller and smaller manufacturing processes. This lets companies shrink components to make them more complex without having to throttle back clock speed or other elements to avoid creating too much waste power and heat.
NVIDIA May Exit Chipsets
(Updated with analyst commentary) NVIDIA may quit the mainboard chipset industry entirely just as it's rumored to be expanding into new areas, if a claim from companies producing the final mainboards themselves. The California-based creator of the nForce line has allegedly held a meeting this week to determine whether it should continue producing chipsets at all but has been met with "silence," hinting both that NVIDIA was already considering an exit but also that weak demand gives it little reason to continue.
NVIDIA Candidate for Mac
Apple's rumored non-Intel mainboard platform may primarily involve a change of suppliers to NVIDIA rather than any kind of custom development, PCPer suggests. The enthusiast site notes that Santa Clara, California-based NVIDIA has been developing its first nForce mainboard chipset for Intel-based notebooks, currently codenamed MCP79, with the aim of improving several weaknesses that have affected Intel's own designs and thus Apple as well. The architecture would support all the necessary components for Intel's just-announced Core 2 processors, including a 1,066MHz system bus and the option of DDR3 memory.
NVIDIA Hybrid SLI
NVIDIA is shifting its emphasis from speed to energy today with the official launch of Hybrid SLI, its unique power-saving graphics technology. Rather than run two chips at once for greater performance, as with normal SLI, the new approach dynamically switches between video hardware depending on the need. In casual use, the technology can run on basic integrated video to save power and reduce heat; games and other demanding tasks will automatically invoke a dedicated graphics card if present.
Alienware Area-51 9800 GX2
Alienware this afternoon upgraded its Area-51 gaming tower to take advantage of NVIDIA's latest speed boosts. The new system uses NVIDIA's just-introduced nForce 790i Ultra SLI mainboard and now has the option of the GeForce 9800 GX2 for video. The combination not only provides the fastest gaming performance from a single card, according to Alienware, but also adds more breathing room for expanded performance: the new nForce platform freely allows more CPU overclocking in its BIOS than earlier Area-51 models and also provides extra bandwidth for peripherals through PCI Express 2.0 as well as DDR3 memory.