Nvidia finally decided to let more customers enjoy its SLI technology by opening up a software SLI licensing to OEMs and ODMs, yet, while Intel is included in the list, the graphics card manufacturer specifically stated that AMD would be left out. Even so, this is a step forward since, for quite a long time, only Nvidia's own chips supported the SLI feature. Although there was no apparent technological reason for this state of affairs, AMD and Intel chipsets could not run SLI.
The X58-based motherboards will now feature native support for the SLI technology, yet they will have to go to Nvidia's labs for testing. This is better than the original plan the Santa Clara company had, that of allowing SLI on the X58 motherboards only if they included its NF200 chip. The implementation of the chip meant a lot of work, and it was also expensive, which made most of the motherboard manufacturers turn down the offer. The only one that would go for it was ASUS.
Since Intel's latest platforms were greatly expected, Nvidia had a lot to lose here and went for another approach. As the implementation of SLI with the Bloomfield platform does not require any kind of external PCI Express bridge chips or such, the process will be cheaper. The X58 motherboards featuring SLI will still cost a little more than the "normal" X58-based, for Nvidia wants to test them all in its labs, which will add an extra $20 to the price.
The move the Santa Clara manufacturer made against AMD does not come as a big surprise at this moment. Intel holds the biggest share when it comes to motherboard chips and CPU support, while AMD and Nvidia are in a tight competition on the market. The latter currently has 60 percent of AMD chipsets and the company needs to hold on really tight to this share not to lose it. This is why some voices from the Santa Clara company said that AMD would only have more weapons to go after Nvidia's chipsets if it had SLI.
It seems that the general feeling among the leaders from Nvidia’s chipset division is that AMD should be left out. VIA and SIS lost some market share to AMD lately, and the Santa Clara company might follow in their shoes soon. The Sunnyvale chip manufacturer began to straighten things up in the chipset and graphics areas, although it still has to do some work on the microprocessor side. The bottom line, when it comes to Nvidia's move, is that customers will see ASUS, Gigabyte or MSI motherboards that will not feature the SLI technology for AMD based 7 series chipsets.