- Nvidia CEO and co-founder Jen-Hsun Huang's jeremiad against Intel heralds future melees with the chip giant over computer graphics technology. Behind the sound and fury lurks Moore's Law.
Most observers agree that the graphics processing unit (GPU) is gaining on the central processing unit (CPU) as the single most important piece of silicon inside the PC. "When you start looking at a PC today, the (central) processor means less and less," according to Jim McGregor, an analyst at In-Stat. The GPU is simply becoming a better way for PC makers to differentiate in a landscape dominated by Intel CPUs, he said.
The question is, who is going to be the largest provider of that differentiation and what form will it take? The pressure on Nvidia--expressed by Huang on Thursday at an analyst meeting--is understandable, as the company seeks to fend off both Intel and AMD, who are increasingly focused on graphics, said McGregor. "Nvidia faces serious challenges. One of their big customers (AMD) went out and acquired a competitor (ATI) and then (you have) Intel saying we're going into your territory." That has put Nvidia on edge. Intel, not surprisingly, is the biggest threat.
"Intel is going to be as competitive as they can possibly be," said Dean McCarron, founder and principal of Mercury Research. "There...