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Intel confirms Nvidia 'Nehalem' negotations

Bus licensing argy-bargy

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Negotiations between Intel and Nvidia over each others' technology are not going smoothly, the chip giant has confirmed. At stake: Nvidia's support for Intel's 'Nehalem' chips, and Intel's ability to support SLI.

In a statement published late last week via Cnet, Intel admitted "there is a disagreement between Intel and Nvidia as to the scope of Nvidia's license from Intel to make chipsets compatible with Intel microprocessors".

The company went on to claim that it's "not seeking any SLI concession from Nvidia in exchange for granting any Nehalem licence rights", in response to speculation that this was the very rock on which the talks had run aground.

Nehalem, due later this year, will introduce a new bus technology that Intel calls QuickPath Interconnect (QPI). If Nvidia's chipset are to support Nehalem processors, the company needs to license QPI technology.

Intel, meanwhile, is said to want access to Nvidia's SLI multi-GPU technology. It already supports SLI in its 'Skulltrail' gaming motherboard - reviewed here - but it presumably wants to extend that coverage to its other chipset products, including those that will work with Nehalem.

Intel's chipsets already support AMD's CrossFire multi-GPU system, though it's not known whether that support yet extends to future Intel chipsets. The long-standing support for CrossFire suggests it will.

If the two companies fail to reach an agreement, Nvidia-friendly gamers will have to turn to AMD processors for their next-gen gaming systems. Intel won't want that, but then Nvidia wouldn't having its chipsets limited only to AMD and current Intel CPUs.

Intel expressed its hope that "this dispute will be resolved amicably". We're sure it will be.

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