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Nvidia licenses SLI for mainstream Intel chipsets

P55 to get it first

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Nvidia has announced Intel's upcoming P55 Express chipset will support its SLI multi-GPU technology.

Could this be the "big surprise" Nvidia CEL Jen-Hsun Huang alluded to last week in reference to his company's battle with the chip giant over processor bus licences? Probably not. After all, Nvidia has already allowed Intel to support SLI in the X58 chipset.

But the X58, which was developed for Intel's first desktop Core i7 parts, released in November 2008, is a high-end chipset. The P55 is more mainstream, supporting the upcoming Core i5 and Core i3 CPUs.

That suggests a softening of Nvidia's stance and may also imply some accommodation has been reached with Intel.

Huang last week refused to state categorically that Nvidia is developing chipsets to support 'Nehalem'-based CPUs. But he didn't deny it either.

“We are not necessarily building chipsets for future Intel buses," he cryptically told analysts at the firm's financial conference. "We’ve not commented anything on that and so you are just going to have to wait to see what we come up with.

“I cannot give you the punch line and you just have to wait for the big surprise,” he added. ®

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