It looks like NVIDIA really means business, announcing it intends to attack the Intel integrated graphics processor market with an ICP of its own. Now that is some target, given that Intel is pretty much the heavyweight champ when it comes graphic chip manufacturing and sales by the numbers. No matter what hardcore gamers and system tweakers may think of integrated graphics processors, with their inability to be upgraded and generally underperforming specification, the market truth is that for the vast majority of users an IGP does everything they need just fine. The market for third party GPUs, which is the territory NVIDIA hunts in, is much, much smaller by comparison. No wonder then, that Intel has decided to broaden its base and get a share of the big boys action.
Not that this is altogether new territory for NVIDIA as it has already made inroads into the AMD IGP market, but Intel has always been seen as off-limits. ATI have tried attacking Intel on home turf and failed, it has to be said. So why is the time right for NVIDIA now?
Ironically, the ATI failure could be the catalyst as this clears the way for NVIDIA to go straight for Intel without having smaller skirmishes to worry about on the battlefield. How successful this is likely to be is, frankly, rather in doubt. The only way to carve any kind of market share away from Intel will be to offer something totally different, and totally compelling.
Rumors would seem to be circulating that this might mean some kind of G80 architecture based IGP, but how well something like a GeForce 8800GTX could be shrunk down with regard to size and power consumption while still delivering enough of a performance kick to catch the attention of the system integrators and buying public alike is up in the air.
At least we won’t have long to wait, because according to NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang, the first Intel-based integrated graphics chipset will be ready to be revealed early next year.