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What’s stopping nVidia from making their own CPUs?

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#1 jaisongomes


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Posted 28 August 2018 - 12:39 AM

I’m kinda new into the whole Pc community so if it at a point nVidia did make cpus just let me know. I was just wondering bc I was like hmmm if I really I wanted to I could make a full amd system (ryzen and Radeon graphics cards) and I can’t do the same for nVidia


Edited by jaisongomes, 29 August 2018 - 10:32 AM.

#2 Guest_Jim_*



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Posted 28 August 2018 - 07:41 AM

I can't remember if the CPU portion of the Tegra chips were designed by NVIDIA or not, but those would be ARM and not x86, like what Intel and AMD produce. Anyway, I can think of two reasons NVIDIA would not work on x86 CPUs; the patents around x86 and an angry Intel.

There are a number of patents involved with the x86 architecture and Intel and AMD have the bulk if not all of them, along with a cross licensing deal between them. Without that deal it would be patent infringement and I strongly doubt either AMD or Intel would sign such a deal to let NVIDIA enter the industry.

Angering Intel is another reason, or at least it was. Intel is a bigger company than NVIDIA and for a long time the two have not been in competition because one makes CPUs and the other makes GPUs. While it is possible that NVIDIA could make money by producing and selling CPUs, and apparently you would be one of the purchasers, by entering into competition with Intel, it could decide to enter the GPU business, and there out-compete NVIDIA, resulting in an overall loss of revenue. (Making $1 billion on CPUs is nice, but not if you lose $10 billion on GPUs.) Plus Intel has had a licensing deal with NVIDIA for years, because Intel has been making GPUs for years, but just the ones integrated into its CPUs, which are not very powerful. If NVIDIA were to make CPUs, Intel could decide to negotiate a new contract with AMD instead, getting the same licenses it needs and ending the payments to NVIDIA.

Now the fact that Intel is working on its own discrete GPUs does make this second point less strong, unless there is some kind of arrangement between the two so they are not as direct of competitors as one might think. (NVIDIA must be okay with Intel doing this, or else it would have cancelled that licensing deal, unless they are waitinf until there is a real product, but then, again, Intel could turn to AMD for a deal.)

Oh and another point, which would actually relate to the first point, is the need for a chipset. There are probably patents Intel and AMD holds that NVIDIA would need licensing to use. (NVIDIA once did make chipsets, but that was several years ago and so if there were license deals in place, they may have expired, or deals for new technology would be needed anyway.)

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