Nvidia can't shake MacBook, chipset unit rumors

On the downside, company has been dogged by negative press and analyst reports. On the upside, rumors persist it will play big role in expected MacBook refresh.

Nvidia has become a Silicon Valley hot spot for rumors. One is tied to an analyst downgrade Monday, the other to the rumored Apple MacBook refresh.

An analyst rekindled speculation Monday that the world's largest graphics chip supplier would sell off its chipset business, while rumors persist that the company would play a larger role in an expected refresh of the Apple MacBook .

Nvidia graphic on its notebook home page
Nvidia graphic on its notebook home page Nvidia

Nvidia shares fell Monday after a Pacific Crest analyst issued a negative report on the company's prospects. In the report, the analyst said "our checks confirm" that Nvidia will exit the chipset business next year.

Nvidia chipsets--sometimes referred to as MCPs--serve as supporting silicon for the company's graphics processors. In the past, Nvidia has denied that it will exit the chipset business .

The analyst also speculated that Nvidia will pre-announce negative results for the third quarter (ended October). Nvidia has been dogged by negative press and analyst reports after it disclosed issues with its processors and chipsets back in July.

If that wasn't enough, Pacific Crest said Nvidia may see share loss in the notebook market next year as a result of a future refresh of "Montevina" graphics silicon from Intel.

But not all is lost. On the upside, rumors persist that Nvidia will play a large role in an expected MacBook refresh this month. The latest rumor holds that Nvidia is showing off prototypes internally of upcoming MacBooks with new Nvidia silicon.

Some are even pointing to a graphic on the Nvidia notebook home page of a slim notebook design as a possible MacBook design--though a more plausible explanation is that it's simply generic artwork.

Apple uses Nvidia graphics chips in its high-end MacBook Pros, but the MacBook and MacBook Air use Intel integrated graphics silicon. One of the latter two could be recipients of new Nvidia graphics chips.

Nvidia would not comment on the rumors.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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