Some things in the world of technology appear to be more impossible than others. One such implausibility is the possibility that your next Nvidia GPU will be produced in an Intel foundry. According to Jensen Huang, the CEO of Nvidia, the company is contemplating it. Future Nvidia Graphics Cards may be manufactured by Intel.
Huang made his remarks at a Q&A session held yesterday (as reported by Tom’s Hardware). The comments were prompted by a discussion on Intel’s Foundry services, which was unexpected. “We are extremely open to the possibility of working with Intel, and I am encouraged by the efforts that they are doing,” Huang added. If Intel’s process technology is capable of delivering a favorable mix of clock frequency and power consumption, why wouldn’t Nvidia be interested in exploring the possibility of using it?
Despite the fact that Intel is poised to directly compete with Nvidia in the GPU industry, Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger has revealed that the company is in conversations with Nvidia. He told Reuters that Intel is “overjoyed” by the company’s interest in utilizing the company’s foundry capabilities. He stated that talks with Nvidia were still ongoing.
Ongoing worldwide supply chain concerns, as well as an over-reliance on Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), are creating some unusual chipmaking dynamics. Companies such as Intel and Samsung, which compete in the foundry industry, are investing tens of billions of dollars to expand their production capacity.
All of this new capacity is undoubtedly upending the established order. Given the sometimes tense relationship between the two firms, it would have been unthinkable just a few years ago that Intel would develop chips for Nvidia.
The subject of sharing key secrets with Intel came up during the discussion, but Huang rejected it, stating that “we have been working closely with Intel for years, discussing our roadmap with them well before we share it with the world.” Intel has been privy to our secrets for many years. AMD has been privy to our secrets for many years. We have reached a level of sophistication and maturity where we understand that we must work together.”
It is not as unexpected as it appears that information is being shared. We see that with firms such as Apple and Samsung, who both produce products that are competitive with one another. Even though there are numerous industry standards and things such as API development that necessitate collaboration between companies, it is not common for them to be done at this level.
If Intel decides to build Nvidia GPUs, it will unavoidably get exposed to Nvidia’s exclusive intellectual property. Intel is hard at work on its own line of graphics processing units, and it would welcome a look beneath the hood of Nvidia’s next technology. Of course, there would be strict non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and Chinese walls in place to prevent snooping.
Jensen Huang points out that some of the company’s most profitable high-performance computing (HPC) solutions make use of AMD and Intel CPUs and technology. While you may come across caustic forum or Reddit comments and memes, the firms actually collaborate more than the general public is aware of. Having said that, if Intel were to begin manufacturing Nvidia GPUs, it would be one of the most surprising events in the PC industry in recent years, if it did occur.
What comes next? Will Intel be producing AMD processors? That one might be a little too far out of bounds.