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Nvidia graphics tech set for future Intel chips

Intel and circuit board makers have licensed Nvidia's Scalable Link Interface technology, used typically in high-end gaming boxes, for future Intel chips.

Nvidia said Monday that Intel and a bevy of circuit board makers have licensed Nvidia graphics technology for future Intel chips.

Nvidia SLI graphics boards
Nvidia SLI graphics boards Nvidia

The leading graphics chip supplier for game PCs has licensed its Scalable Link Interface (SLI) technology to Intel and makers of PC motherboards, including Asus, Gigabyte, and MSI for future Intel chips. SLI is a technology for linking two or more graphics boards and used typically in high-end gaming boxes.

The licensing deal will allow Intel and others to offer SLI technology in "P55" motherboards that are used with Intel Core i7 and i5 processors. The latter series of processors have yet to ship. A motherboard is the main circuit board in a PC.

Nvidia said this is significant because Intel is licensing the technology before it rolls out new chips, a departure from how SLI licensing was worked out earlier this year between the two companies.

"What's exciting is that Intel signed on before the launch (of new chips). Before, they came on after the launch," said Nvidia spokesman Bryan Del Rizzo. "This makes it easier for system builders and OEMs (PC makers)," he said.

The previous agreement that Del Rizzo mentioned was announced in February for a prior generation of Intel motherboards.

"Nvidia SLI technology is a perfect complement to the processing prowess of our new Core i7 and Intel DP55KG desktop board," said Clem Russo, VP and General Manager of Intel Client Board Division at Intel Corporation, in a statement. "This combination will surely be attractive to anyone building or purchasing a brand new PC this fall," he said.

In addition to Intel Core i7 and Core i5 processors, Nvidia's SLI technology is also available for Advanced Micro Devices' Phenom II processor.

Monday's licensing agreement is not related to an ongoing dispute between Intel and Nvidia over chipset licensing, Del Rizzo said.