nVidia, who entered into a state of almost open warfare with Intel over the need for a CPU over a GPU, seems a very unlikely candidate to make an x86 based CPU. But there does seem to be some evidence pointing to this.
nVidia has been seeking talent in the x86 marchitecture and has been actively recruiting x86 engineers. Issues with this rumor are retty big though, nVidia has no license to make an x86 CPU and are not likely to get one from Intel or AMD. They could opt to have someone else build it for them (like IBM or less likely the new Foundry Company) but that would not stop the lawsuits from flying.
Read more here.
Word reached us a bit ago that Nvidia is definitely working on an x86 chip and the firm is heavily recruiting x86 engineers all over Silicon Valley.
The history behind this is here and here, and can be summarised by saying they bought an x86 team almost fully, and don't have a licence to make the parts. Given that the firm burned about every bridge imaginable with the two companies who can give them licences, Nvidia has about a zero chance of getting one.
There are options to take, like fabbing at IBM, but that won't stop the lawyers. Claiming you are getting around the issue with a Transmeta-like approach will likely end up in a long lawsuit as well. Basically what it comes down to is that Nvidia is trying to get into the x86 business, and doesn't seem to care much about 'laws' and 'legality' when doing so.
More humorous is how they are going to try and spin the whole "CPUs don't matter at all" screed that they have been on lately. "They don't matter, and x86 really doesn't matter, but we are going to do it anyway just because it doesn't matter" or something.
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