nVidia's CEO and president, Jen-Hsun Huang has described Intel's Atom price as "pretty unfair" in an interview with Reuters.
Intel charges $45 for a single Atom processor, 180 per cent more than a bundle including Atom, Intel's 945GSE IGP and IC7 southbridge, priced at $25. "That seems pretty unfair," says Huang. "We ought to be able to compete and serve that market."
As a result of Intel's pricing structure, any manufacturer considering nVidia's Ion platform, which couples an Atom CPU with a 9400M chipset, is at a financial disadvantage over an Intel-based solution. And that's before factoring the cost of Ion itself.
That the EU recently ruled some previous Intel business practices uncompetitive, might add some weight to nVidia's requests that Intel reconsider its pricing. However, Intel's Bill Calder argues that: "We compete fairly. We do not force bundles on any computer makers and customers can purchase Atom individually or as part of the bundle," adding "If you want to purchase the chip set, obviously there is better pricing."
For now, Huang says that he hopes nVidia won't have to resort to legal action against Intel, but concedes that "We have to do whatever we have to do when the time comes."