Nvidia and VIA cooperate on a cheap PC platform
On Financial Analyst Day yesterday, Nvidia and VIA Technologies jointly announced that they would be developing a platform for cheap desktop computers that would however be capable of handling Vista Premium and HD video. The two partners are positioning their product in direct competition with Intel's Mini-ITX boards for cheap computers and are promising prices of less than $45. In contrast to Intel's product - a combination of a Celeron processor and an oldish 945G chipset - the combination of the Nvidia chipset and the VIA CN processor will meet the preconditions for a Vista Premium logo as well as being able to reproduce Blu-ray Discs HD video and, on top of that, is to be compatible with DirectX 10. Nvidia has not yet given a name to the forthcoming chipset.
The first boards with the version of GeForce 730a with integrated GeForce 8200 graphics for AMD processors, codenamed MCP78, are just appearing now. An Intel version is also due to come out - probably within this half of the year.
What progress has so far been made with the VIA CN chipset is unclear. VIA simply say they will be delivering the first CN processors in the course of this half-year. On Analyst Day, Nvidia only showed a mock-up picture of the EPIA NR Pico ITX board, decorated (obviously by image processing) with a GeForce logo and actually fitted with the VIA CX700 chipset and a C7 processor.
Nvidia stressed that it still also wanted to make chipsets for processors by AMD and Intel, and took the opportunity to point out that it would also be making products compatible with PowerPC, such as the RSX Reality Synthesizer, which is in Playstation 3.
Nvidia also wants to be more strongly committed to the Smartphones market and, as expected, is placing the emphasis on graphics functions there too. For the moment, however, there don't seem to be any plans for reinforced cooperation with VIA. Instead, Nvidia again referred to the APX 2500, already presented at the Mobile World Congress, which contains an ARM core.