In the past, vendors have chided Intel for their draconian licensing policies which lets them limit at any time who can develop what for their processors. It has prevented companies like AMD and VIA in the past from creating chipsets for Intel's processors, which they claim Intel did only to push more of their own in-house chipsets.
Now Nvidia is being added to that list
, with Nvidia's Director of Public Relations claiming that Intel, despite the licensing agreement they have, will not allow Nvidia to manufacture chipsets compatible with their new Nehalem processors. Without this, Nvidia will not be able to offer the Nforce platform for newer Intel CPUs, putting both them and motherboard manufacturers in a bad spot. The decision from Intel seems to have been influenced by Nvidia's attitude as to the future of GPUs, in which they see the GPU as slowly taking a more important role in computers than CPU does. Their decision to not license SLI may also have contributed. Regardless, if things do stand like that, the only way to acquire an Intel CPU would be to pair it with an Intel chipset – meaning no SLI and no Nforce.
Obviously from a consumer standpoint it's a losing situation. I look forward to seeing how they resolve this situation. From an AMD standpoint it could end up being a good thing, so long as they do the right thing and keep their platforms more open.