Nvidia surrenders to the charms of AMD Bulldozer

GPU maker Nvidia is appearing to be giving in to its rival AMD and is making its Scalable-Link Technology (SLI) technology available for Bulldozer.

Last week VR-Zone published a slide purportedly leaked from Nvidia showing that Nvidia will unlock its Multi-GPU SLI technology for use on AMD’s new Bulldozer FX chipsets, If it were true then AMD punters will not have to run ATI CrossFireX multi-GPU configurations or unofficial patches in order to run Nvidia’s SLI on their motherboards.

Nvidia’s SLI allows parallel processing for increased computer graphics performance by linking two or more GPUs and creating a single output.

Neither Nvidia, nor AMD commented on the slide which said that Nvidia will license SLI on AMD 900-series platforms and charge FX-series motherboard makers a bit of extra cash. But over the weekend the rumour appears to have been given some traction amongst analysts.

Any motherboard using AMD’s 990FX will sport 2-way and 3-way SLI and AMD’s 990X chipsets will offer 2-way SLI. AMD’s 900-series FX will have Intel’s SLI platform specs including SBIOS.

What is interesting is that Nvidia is not insisting on the NF200 bridge installations on its interface and it will not add support beyond SLI licenses.

The news is brilliant for AMD’s upcoming Bulldozer-based FX-series for desktops which are AMD’s multi-core high-end Zambezi processors. These should be in the shops in the middle of the year. Allowing Nvidia cards to operate alongside the new chips should mean that take up will be much improved.

Nvidia has been selling licences for its chipsets since settling its patent dispute with Intel in January and many thought that the GPU maker was getting out of that business completely. Since that dispute was resolved Nvidia has only been talking about servers, mobile gear and its foundary business.