This is a rumour that has surfaced and died several times, and it has resurfaced again. However, this time, there is more evidence than usual. Over the last year or two, Nvidia have spent a lot of time and effort into marketing stream computing. GPUs, or parallel processors, are significantly more powerful than their CPU counterparts. However, parallel processors can only process specific instructions, and a CPU is still required for general processing. So, as much as Nvidia would convince consumers about the benefits of GPU, there is no doubt a GPU would be useless were it not run together with a CPU.

Recently, Nvidia reportedly presented a CPU+GPU for 2017. AMD Fusion is all about the same central idea – a GPU and a CPU on one die. Though Intel will be the first with a GPU and a CPU on one package, they will be on different dies, and the GPU will be a weak Intel IGP anyway. Now, rumours are suggesting Nvidia are keen to not be left behind by the CPU+GPU revolution, and are developing x86 CPUs.

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This is a rumour that has surfaced and died several times, and it has
resurfaced again. However, this time, there is more evidence than usual.
Over the last year or two, Nvidia have spent a lot of time and effort
into marketing stream computing. GPUs, or parallel processors, are
significantly more powerful than their CPU counterparts. However,
parallel processors can only process specific instructions, and a CPU is
still required for general processing. So, as much as Nvidia would
convince consumers about the benefits of GPU, there is no doubt a GPU
would be useless were it not run together with a CPU.

Recently,
Nvidia reportedly presented a CPU+GPU which would make up an “Exascale machine” for 2017. AMD Fusion is all about
the same central idea – a GPU and a CPU on one die. Though Intel will be
the first with a GPU and a CPU on one package, they will be on
different dies, and the GPU will be a weak Intel IGP anyway. Now,
rumours are suggesting Nvidia are keen to not be left behind by the
CPU+GPU revolution, and are developing x86 CPUs.

In addition to the rumoured presentation for 2017, Doug Freedman, analyst of research firm Broadpoint AmTech, reports Nvidia has been quietly hiring former employees of Transmeta, a now defunct x86 CPU supplier.

Previously, an Nvidia acquisition of third largest x86 chipmaker, VIA, was heavily rumoured. However, Mr. Freedman now feels an internally developed solution is more likely.

“We believe Nvidia could enter the x86 business,” says Doug Freedman.

Of course, designing a CPU could take years, and using the x86 architecture requires a license from giants Intel, who are not quite on the best terms with Nvidia at the moment.

The possibility of an Nvidia CPU on the market is interesting – though it would be likely that Nvidia would sell the CPU only as a CPU+GPU package on one die, rather than an individual CPU. Co-processing power of CPU+GPU being something Nvidia have talked a lot about for the future.

Reference: EETimes