Such a deal wouldn’t come cheap, but Intel was already cutting checks of $200 million to $300 million to Nvidia every year. “Intel would have to pony up some significant money to make this deal work,” Krewell told PCWorld. “The amount of extra cash AMD could make on royalties would be very appealing to the shareholders.”
Fans may be concerned that such a deal would all but give up the last advantage AMD’s upcoming Zen-based APUs would have over Intel chips. AMD’s Zen core could equal Intel’s newest cores in x86 performance. Combine that with AMD’s much more powerful graphics cores and you’d have an instant winner.
Financial realities, however, overshadow any moral victories. “Is it better to make a royalty on 80 percent to 90 percent of the PC processor shipments or fight it out for the remaining 10 percent or 20 percent?” Krewell said. AMD can make a lot more money partnering with Intel rather than competing.
For its part, Intel has plenty of reasons to stop sending money to Nvidia. As the GPU maker busily builds market share in self-driving cars, machine learning and more, it’s becoming more of a threat to Intel (which is trying hard to get its own chunk of these businesses). In AMD, Intel would have a partner that offered competitive technology to Nvidia’s—and needed its money. We’ll continue to follow this story and will let you know when we learn more.
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