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  • #21
    Originally posted by deanjo View Post
    That wouldn't be a standalone offering. Apple already offers products that are hybrids with intel IGP's and nvidia gpus. Rumblings are that Apple are considering using Fusion processors for their low end entry products as they want everything that they sell to have satisfactory openCL performance and Sandy Bridge doesn't handle openCL on the IGP, it can only do it on the CPU.
    Yep, SB doesn't handle openCL on the IGP, that's what i heard too, and then Apple planned to use SB + discrete (?) AMD. That's what the rumours said.

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    • #22
      Originally posted by BlueJayofEvil View Post
      There have been rumors over the last few years of Nvidia possibly looking to buy out VIA. If they did then they would have some patents to leverage a cross-license agreement with Intel and probably get the x86 license. I don't know if those rumors have any weight to them, but it would make for an interesting strategy on Nvidia's part.
      Doesn't VIA already have an "x86 license" (whatever that means these days) since they bought out Centaur? The latest Nano iterations supposedly even have SSE4.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by BlueJayofEvil View Post
        There have been rumors over the last few years of Nvidia possibly looking to buy out VIA. If they did then they would have some patents to leverage a cross-license agreement with Intel and probably get the x86 license. I don't know if those rumors have any weight to them, but it would make for an interesting strategy on Nvidia's part.
        And it has been pointed out in response that the x86 license is not transferable. If Nvidia bought Via, it wouldn't get the license.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by curaga View Post
          And it has been pointed out in response that the x86 license is not transferable. If Nvidia bought Via, it wouldn't get the license.
          IIRC, NVIDIA already has an x86 license anyway since it used to build some kind of x86 chip... Going with ARM design is probably faster (simpler) and cheaper.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by t.s. View Post
            Yep, SB doesn't handle openCL on the IGP, that's what i heard too, and then Apple planned to use SB + discrete (?) AMD. That's what the rumours said.
            If you look at the Intel FAQ and Wikipedia(*), OpenCL support for SNB is under evaluation for this platform, including Linux. However, since Windows support is Alpha software, you can imagine that such support for graphics processors would have lower level, thus is probably not releasable, should it exist. (*) Wikipedia, hey...

            I think the point of the AMD Fusion rumor @ Apple, is only wrt. pricing and probably an incentive to get Intel lower its prices. IIRC, Intel chips for Apple products are custom designs (specific additions or removals), so this costed them (Apple) money, I'd think. If you look at the G45 VA-API driver, you can notice that there is specific shader code for the IGP used by Apple.

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            • #26
              Originally posted by gbeauche View Post
              IIRC, NVIDIA already has an x86 license anyway since it used to build some kind of x86 chip... Going with ARM design is probably faster (simpler) and cheaper.
              Nvidia's x86 chip is a 486, IIRC. The patents to that have expired already.
              It's the same as the completely open cpu, can't recall the name to it, it's also on the 486 level.

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              • #27
                [fake edit]

                You also see other companies do 486 and 586 cpus (Sis and VortexDX for example). I believe this is due to the same reason.

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by curaga View Post
                  [fake edit]

                  You also see other companies do 486 and 586 cpus (Sis and VortexDX for example). I believe this is due to the same reason.
                  The 486's patents ran out in 2007, nvidia has had that 486 since 2005.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by gbeauche View Post
                    If you look at the Intel FAQ and Wikipedia(*), OpenCL support for SNB is under evaluation for this platform, including Linux. However, since Windows support is Alpha software, you can imagine that such support for graphics processors would have lower level, thus is probably not releasable, should it exist. (*) Wikipedia, hey...

                    I think the point of the AMD Fusion rumor @ Apple, is only wrt. pricing and probably an incentive to get Intel lower its prices. IIRC, Intel chips for Apple products are custom designs (specific additions or removals), so this costed them (Apple) money, I'd think. If you look at the G45 VA-API driver, you can notice that there is specific shader code for the IGP used by Apple.
                    Sandy Bridge supports opencl on the CPU and not the IGP.

                    http://arstechnica.com/apple/news/20...-next-year.ars

                    In addition, Intel reportedly plans to support OpenCL on Sandy Bridge, in a roundabout way. Apple has embraced OpenCL by integrating support in to Mac OS X 10.6, and using NVIDIA controllers in its lower-end systems meant that all of Apple's shipping computers were compatible with the standard. The basic architecture of Intel's Sandy Bridge IGP can't support OpenCL functions at all—it's based on an archaic, specialized design that doesn't do GPGPU and will be replaced in Ivy Bridge later in 2011. But, Intel has been working on supporting OpenCL on its CPUs—with four simultaneous threads available on dual-core chips, it may be possible to execute OpenCL code acceptably fast on the CPU itself.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by curaga View Post
                      And it has been pointed out in response that the x86 license is not transferable. If Nvidia bought Via, it wouldn't get the license.
                      I didn't say they would get the license from the acquisition, but rather by negotiating with Intel using VIA's patent portfolio.

                      Some info:
                      On the basis of the IDT Centaur acquisition,[2] VIA appears to have come into possession of at least three patents, which cover key aspects of processor technology used by Intel. On the basis of the negotiating leverage these patents offered, in 2003 VIA arrived at an agreement with Intel that allowed for a ten year patent cross license, enabling VIA to continue to design and manufacture x86 compatible CPUs. VIA was also granted a three year grace period in which it could continue to use Intel socket infrastructure.

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