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Why do your MacBook Pros no longer have Nvidia Chipsets…

…and need discrete Graphics cards on Core i7 processors?

Fortune sat down with Jen-Hsun Huang, CEO of Nvidia to talk about the breach of contract lawsuit with Intel that is keeping the two ‘partners’ from working together.  

Once aware of Intel’s position, no computer [Apple included] maker would risk buying Nvidia chipsets, Huang maintains. He stopped vying for new chipset business in late 2009. (Intel maintains Nvidia pulled out because it recognized that chipsets were becoming obsolete.) Huang now wants Intel stripped of its license to Nvidia’s portfolio of fundamental patents on graphics and parallel computing technologies — the case that goes to trial in December.

This fight will hurt Apple’s (and everyone else’s) ability to make fast, ultra portable Core iX laptops with respectable GPU performance (Intel’s is still weak and not good enough for MacBook Pros).  Think about the MacBook Air: If it has a core i3 processor, it will need a discrete graphics chipset to maintain any level of graphics performance.  That will be a tight squeeze.

Also, If Nvidia pulls Intel’s license to use graphics and parallel computing products, Apple technologies like OpenCL might be impacted.

Or, will all of this be moot in a few years because Apple will build its own laptop chips?

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