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VIA and Nvidia nix netbook pact

Anti-Atom partnership dissolved, claim moles

Nvidia and VIA have reportedly canned their plan to jointly develop a reference design for Small, Cheap Computers based on their chippery.

The scheme - agreement for which was reached back in April - has now been suspended, VIA moles told DigiTimes.

The deal was to have paved the way for a reference design centring on VIA's C7-M and Nano processors, and Nvidia's GeForce 9400M integrated chipset, then known only by its codename 'MCP79'.

In July, industry insiders alleged that Nvidia had only entered into the deal to gain a bargaining chip to be used in negotiations with Intel to gain the right to build chipset products for Intel's Atom.

Heaven knows netbooks could use an Nvidia chipset. Just as Apple recently selected the 9400M over Intel's own integrated GPU for its latest MacBook and MacBook Air products, so we'd like to see SCCs that drop Intel's old, slow, power-hungry system chippery for a sleek, modern Nvidia alternative.

If Nvidia's succeeded and got some design wins, it's not saying. But if the VIA insiders are correct, its erstwhile partner isn't happy with the way the programme has gone. Or maybe it just wants to focus, as it's largely done to date, on its own chipset and integrated graphics offerings, embedded in its OpenBook netbook reference platform.

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