In the world of technology, some things seem more implausible than others. It’s one of those implausibilities: could your next Nvidia GPU come from an Intel foundry? According to Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang, Nvidia is considering it.
Huang’s comments came during a Q&A session yesterday (via Tom’s Hardware). The discussion around Intel’s Foundry Services has led to some surprising comments. “We’re very open to considering Intel, and I’m pleased with their efforts,” Huang said. If Intel’s processing technology can offer a favorable combination of clock frequency and power consumption, why wouldn’t Nvidia want to explore this option?
Even though Intel is set to compete directly with Nvidia in the GPU market, the talks have been confirmed by Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger. He told Reuters that Intel was “pleased with their interest in using our foundry capabilities.” He said discussions with Nvidia are ongoing.
Ongoing global supply chain issues and an overreliance on TSMC are leading to some interesting chip manufacturing dynamics. Competing foundries, including Intel and Samsung, are spending tens of billions of dollars to expand manufacturing capabilities. All this upcoming ability definitely shakes things up. A few years ago, the chances of Intel making Nvidia chips would have been inconceivable given the sometimes acrimonious relationship between the two companies.
The discussion moved to the topic of sharing valuable secrets with Intel, but Huang dismissed that, saying “we worked closely with Intel, sharing our roadmap with them long before we shared it with the public. , for years. Intel has known our secrets. AMD has known our secrets for years. We are sophisticated and mature enough to realize that we need to work together.
Sharing information isn’t as surprising as it sounds. We see it with companies like Apple and Samsung, both of which make competing products. There are many industry standards and things like API development that require collaboration between companies, but not often to this degree. If Intel manufactures Nvidia GPUs, it will necessarily be exposed to intellectual property closely held by Nvidia. Intel is hard at work on its own line of GPUs and surely wouldn’t mind taking a look under the hood at Nvidia’s future tech. Of course, there would be ironclad NDAs or Chinese walls to prevent shenanigans.
Jensen Huang notes that some of his most lucrative HPC products use AMD and Intel processors and technologies. So while you may come across toxic forums or reddit comments and memes, companies work together more than most people realize. That said, Intel making Nvidia GPUs would still be one of the more unexpected developments in the PC space in recent years, should it ever come to pass.
And after? Will Intel make AMD processors? That one might be a bridge too far.