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Nvidia, AMD sign up to support 3GIO

End in sight for HyperTransport?

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Nvidia has signed up to support the upcoming 3GIO PC I/O specification, joining its arch-rival ATI as a backer of the Intel-sponsored standard-to-be.

As we mentioned yesterday when we covered ATI's statement of support, since 3GIO will define the successor to both PCI and AGP slots, it's essential that anyone who makes add-in cards can pokes their nose into the specification's definition process.

As we also noted yesterday, Nvidia was an early supporter of AMD's HyperTransport, a rival to 3GIO. There's no reason why the two can't co-exist, a point Nvidia clearly concedes, and we can well see future Nvidia card reference designs using 3GIO connectors and Nvidia nForce chipsets using HyperTransport to handle northbridge-to-southbridge communications.

Heck, it's even possible to imagine said nForce supporting both, HyperTransport for inter-chip connections, and 3GIO for direct-to-memory graphics buses and adaptor card slots.

At which point, of course, Nvidia will wonder if it just can't do the whole thing with 3GIO, since the spec. will be designed for chip-to-chip communications too.

Upshot: HyperTransport becomes redundant, and the AMD technology fades into obscurity.

Which is why AMD is presumably hoping that being there first will garner it enough support for that not to happen. We don't think it will either, but only because we can just see HT being folded into 3GIO.

So here's another name, alongside Nvidia, on the list of new supporters for the Arapahoe Work Group, the body that's overseeing 3GIO development: AMD... ®

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ATI signs up to support 3GIO

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