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nVidia: Intel Atom Pricing "Pretty Unfair"


nVidia: Intel Atom Pricing "Pretty Unfair"

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."




May 20, 2009, 6:18 pm

I don't like Intel's Atom pricing and its effect on Ion pricing. But I don't think any court should rule against it. Companies of all types offer lower prices for items when purchased in bundles.

Why does everyone these days demand a legal ruling against something that they merely dislike?


May 20, 2009, 6:34 pm

Well... Looking at Pineview (integrated atom + graphics) round the corner this situation should sort itself out ... What about the ARM route for Nvidia?


May 20, 2009, 6:45 pm

pimlicosound: There's no issue with discounting for bundles. There is an issue when the discount is in essence predatory pricing intended to drive competitors out of the market - this violates competition law and is an illegal practice in Europe (but not the US). Obviously, none of us know whether this is actually a case of predatory pricing, but given how huge the discount is and the bitter words between Intel and nVidia, it's not impossible. Time will tell.


May 20, 2009, 6:51 pm

While I'd tend to agree, this is a fairly extreme case. I can't think of many instances where you can actually get more for less money.


May 20, 2009, 6:53 pm

^^ @Pimlicosound ^^


May 20, 2009, 8:18 pm

First this is a rather obvious case of predatory pricing when the individual component costs almost twice as much as a whole bundle! And its not like volume pricing is an issue here, nvidia would be buying a huge amount of this product.

But secondly why is nVidia bending over bakwards to buy the Atom. The real value in what they are trying to do lies in the graphics chipset they have already created. So why not just get an AMD CPU and put in there and move on?

Or get something else althogether put it in an market it to OEMS to make linux based solutions for HTPCs and netbooks?

As it is all nVidia is doing is making intel seem even more important in the eyes of the consumer. They need to take a different approach instead of relying on regulators who IMO will do nothing considering that Intel feels so comfortable with pricing that any old fool knows is predatory. So regulatory action most likely will not be taken.


May 20, 2009, 8:42 pm

@Ed: It depends on what you think of as being "more". Intel is rightly calculating that the market is placing a higher value on its Atom chip sold solo, for use in Ion, than it does upon its Atom+945 bundle. If people want the CPU more than they want the bundle, Intel is entirely right, and within its rights, to charge more for it.


May 20, 2009, 9:58 pm

Seems to me Intel are running scared of what Nvidia will bring to the platform. Given its Nvidia's GPU that bring meaning to it; for me - HD playback. As we discussed in other threads what has Intel got to loose "trying it on"? Its just a 'chest fight' between them. Also the current hit by the EU on Intel does not seem to worry shareholders as far as I can see....


May 21, 2009, 3:27 am

How about a doing some research before republishing Nvidia propoganda? Intel sells Atom's for as little as $20 on their own. You can verify this because Intel actually publishes a price list on their website. Go try to find a chip price list on Nvidia's web site. Call this what it is: Nvidia just wants Intel to sell its Atom's at no profit, so Nvidia can make big money on graphics chips.


May 21, 2009, 4:24 am

anon: The $20 Atoms are from the Z5xx series, which are intended for MIDs. nVidia's Ion platform isn't for MIDs, so talking of $20 Atoms is meaningless in this context. For a netbook, you'd be looking at the Atom N270 - which is listed for $44 on Intel's price list. For nettops, the Atom 330 is listed at $43. The single core Atom 230 is listed at $29 - and even that is more than the Atom+chipset bundle.

pimlicosound: That doesn't compute, given that you could simply buy the chipset bundle and throw away the chipset.


May 21, 2009, 5:26 am

If I recall Intel also soldered the chipset on in this case, so upgrading the CPU or using it elsewhere is blocked. Which is amusing given all the "environmental" and "sustainable" pap they spread on their website.

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