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NVIDIA Rapidly Ramps Up nForce4 Core-Logic Production

Date: 2005-2-16

   Graphics chip and core-logic designer NVIDIA Corp. on Tuesday said the company had shipped more than a million of NVIDIA nForce4-series media and communication processors. The company sai...

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Graphics chip and core-logic designer NVIDIA Corp. on Tuesday said the company had shipped more than a million of NVIDIA nForce4-series media and communication processors. The company said such rapid ramp helped it to boost its share in the AMD64 market.

One Million of NVIDIA nForce4 MCPs Shipped

Since December, 2004, when certain NVIDIA nForce4-series products became available for mainboard makers, the company has shipped more than one million of the nForce4 media and communication processors (MCPs) to its partners among mainboard makers. The company's spokesperson Bryan Del Rizzo told NVIDIA Corp. had shipped about the same number ?approximately one million ?of previous-generation NVIDIA nForce3-series MCPs since the beginning of the nForce4 commercial shipments.

NVIDIA nForce4 core-logic is NVIDIA's latest media and communication processor for AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Sempron series of central processing units. The nForce4-series chipsets are among the first PCI Express chipsets that sport all currently available and yet-to-be-released microprocessors from Advanced Micro Devices, including AMD Athlon 64 FX, AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Sempron chips with 1000MHz HyperTransport bus. The nForce4 Ultra and SLI product series also offer an array of technologies designed to make computing more secure, efficient and rapid, such as NVIDIA RAID, NVIDIA ActiveArmor firewall, NVIDIA Gigabit Ethernet, Serial ATA-300 and other important technologies, like USB 2.0, FireWire, 8-channel AC?7 audio and so on.

Santa Clara, California-based NVIDIA positions its nForce4 products according to the needs of various markets: nForce4 SLI is designed for hardcore gamers, it sports all the latest processors and even contains enhancements for NVIDIA's multi-GPU technology SLI; nForce4 Ultra is developed with high-end desktops and workstations in mind: it sports every capability advertised by NVIDIA, but cannot power systems with two graphics cards; nForce4 is targeted at OEMs and system integrators, lacks advanced security capabilities and support for SLI and Serial ATA-300.

The number of AMD64 PCI Express-supporting chipsets shipped by rivals ATI Technologies, Silicon Integrated Systems Corp. and VIA Technologies is unclear.

NVIDIA Says Demand for SLI Boosted Market Share

NVIDIA said the demand for the nForce4 SLI chips was exceeding the company's high expectations, accounting for more than 25% of all NVIDIA nForce4 MCP shipments to date. Being one of the world's most-advanced core-logic products in terms of functionality, NVIDIA's nForce4 SLI was the first-to-market among the nForce4-series products.

揟his demand [for the nForce4 SLI] has resulted in the fastest sales ramp the platform group at NVIDIA has ever experienced, and helped NVIDIA grow its share of the AMD64 market to 48% percent, as reported by Mercury Research for the quarter ending December 31, 2004,?NVIDIA said in its statement.

But the initial raving demand for the NVIDIA nForce4 SLI may not necessarily mean that going forward it will remain on the same level.

Only 5% of readers polled recently were planning to get a mainboard powered by NVIDIA nForce4 SLI core-logic and a couple of graphics cards to get increased performance in graphics processing-demanding games. Approximately 15% of surveyed expressed interest in NVIDIA nForce4 SLI platform and said they would buy the second graphics card afterwards, 25% said they would wait for ATI Technologies to release its multi-GPU technology and then make up their minds. 54% of users said multi-GPU setups were not economically feasible.

NVIDIA's technology dubbed Scalable Link Interface allows end-users to combine two identical graphics cards based on certain GeForce 6 GPUs within one system to get higher performance in modern computer games, up to 75% higher compared to single-GPU setup, according to NVIDIA estimates. The technology requires a special mainboard as well as a quality power supply unit to function properly.

More nForce4 Design Wins to Follow

Currently, there are more than 20 NVIDIA nForce4-based mainboards available from some of the world's leading motherboard suppliers, including ABIT, ASUSTeK, Biostar, Chaintech, DFI, ECS, EPoX, Foxconn, Gigabyte, and MSI, with more product introductions anticipated from other companies over the next few months. Among system builders Alienware and VoodooPC use the nForce4-series products in addition to some other computer makers.

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