Nvidia is furthering its support for Intel’s coming Core i7 processor line while it is preparing the announcement of its next generation of integrated graphics.
The announcement will back Nvidia’s efforts to expand offerings into Intel’s upcoming high-end desktop platform. Previously referred to as “Bloomfield”, now named Core i7. Nvidia had mentioned that is has no intentions to develop a platform specific chipset for Intel’s next-generation interconnect technology called QuickPath Interconnect (QPI). QPI is part of the Core i7 design.
On Thursday Nvidia mentioned that it will license its Scalable Link Interface (SLI) technology for the Intel Core i7 processor. The SLI technology will work along with Intel’s X58 chipset which is due to ship in the fourth quarter.
SLI allows system to be configured with more than one Nvidia graphics solution. For example, end users could build systems with two, three or even four Nvidia graphics boards.
Essentially Nvidia is offering “native” licensing of its Scalable Link Interface to partners and system builders. Native licensing does not require the specific use of the Nvidia nForce 200 bridging chip, thus increasing the graphics support range on Core i7 based systems.
As of current, Nvidia has only ever offered nForce 200. nForce 200 is basically specialized PCI Express bridge chip that is the under workings of SLI. This has been the only solution. Nvidia plans to continue its nForce 200 offering going forward. The main distinction between native and nForce 200 is that native SLI allows for more common configurations.
It is rumored that Nvidia was losing ground to AMD-ATI by not offering a solution that appeals more to system builders and end users.
Nvidia also plans to announce a new high-performance motherboard based integrated GPU in the coming weeks. This will be a follow-on to its GeForce 8200 mobile GPU solution. The upcoming mobile GPU will be complete with the Intel G45 integrated graphics chipset.