Not long after Intel was fined $1.45 billion by the EU for violating antitrust laws in a case against AMD, Nvidia has spoken up as well. Jen-Hsun Huang, Nvidia CEO, has complained that the pricing structure on Intel’s chips is unfair. For those unaware, Nvidia and Intel have had somewhat of a rivalry going on over netbook territory.
Basically, Nvidia’s gripe is that every Acer, Asus, Hewlett-Packard, and Dell netbook ships with both Intel’s Atom CPU and 945GSE chipset (with an integrated GMA 950 graphics core). They say that netbooks featuring a combination of Intel's chips cannot support the high-quality multimedia content which customers will ultimately demand of their devices as they increase in screen size. While they believe that the Atom CPU is a reasonably capable processor, Intel’s GMA is less-than-stellar – which is where Nvidia hopes to come in. The company makes a graphics chip to go along with the Atom, however according to Huang, Intel’s pricing scheme is designed to lure business away.
He says that alone, the Atom chip is sold for $45 and Intel sells a three-chip set for $25 as a means of driving sales and steering buyers away from the competition. He reported to Reuters, that it seemed "unfair." Intel shrugged off Huang’s suggestions, and as usual, claimed to compete fairly. Bill Clader, a spokesman for Intel, said that the makers of the netbooks are free to buy the Atom chip by itself or with the set. Purchasing the set obviously comes at a better price, according to Clader. Huang stated that no legal action is currently planned and that he hopes it doesn’t come down to that.