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Nvidia readies SLI for Core 2 Duo laptops?

Co-operative rendering, or discrete/integrated GPU switching?

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Will Intel's current mobile chipsets soon be able to support multiple Nvidia graphics chips running co-operatively? That's certainly what moles from Taiwan's contract manufacturer community have claimed. The allegation comes on the heels of indications Nvidia is working on technology to allow notebooks to use both integrated and discrete graphics cores.

At this stage, it's not known which of these approaches will be adopted by Intel - if any of them. The souces, cited by DigiTimes, use rumour as evidence for their own claims.

Last month, it was alleged that Nvidia is working on a system dubbed 'SLI Power' that will make it easy for a notebook to flip from an integrated GPU to a discrete graphics engine and back again, the better to balance power-conservation and rendering performance. The technique might also be used to allow the two cores to render co-operatively, perhaps using the integrated core for physics acceleration. Right now, the description of the technology from moles has been too vague to be certain what exactly it does.

However, it may explain the latest claim. Today's rumour suggests SLI will only work with mobile Core 2 Duo-based systems. The implication is that that's the current 945G chipset series, the core logic launched with last January's 'Napa' Centrino refresh. However, it's known that 'Santa Rosa', the next generation of Centrino is due Q2 2007, and it may be that product's chipset, codenamed 'Crestline', that Nvidia is targeting.

Either way, the sources claim Nvidia's announcement will come "soon". Intel has said Core 2 Duo-based notebooks will debut at the end of the month, so if the announcement comes, that's surely when it will take place. ®

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