by Wesley Fink on December 14, 2005 1:30 PM EST

NVIDIA Will Buy ULi Electronics

In a move that caught many in the industry by surprise, NVIDIA announced today that they have reached agreement to acquire ULi Electronics. ULi has been very active in the development of core logic chipsets, and in particular chipsets for the AMD processor market. ULi also markets the M1575 South Bridge which is used with the ATI RD480 Crossfire chipset, a solution used by Asus, MSI, Abit, and others who manufacture ATI chipset motherboards.

In conversations with ATI this morning, they emphasized that 90% of their chipset business consists of products using both ATI Northbridge and Southbridge products, mainly in the OEM and Notebook/Mobile market. This business will not be impacted. For those manufacturers using the ULi South Bridge, Patti Mikula, ATI Public Relations states: "ULi has committed to ATI and the manufacturers that the supply of ULi chips will not be interrupted."

ATI was aware that NVIDIA and ULi were discussing a sale and it sounded as if they were not a bidder for ULi. According to Mikula, "ATI has the highest confidence in our own chipset design team. Any current issues will be resolved with the release of the SB600 south bridge which is on schedule". ATI expects to introduce the SB600 South Bridge in about six months.

Other sources in the industry indicate that ATI has added resources to the SB600 development teams since it was known that ULi ownership could change hands, and that ATI has been pushing internally for an earlier release of SB600. Industry sources also indicate they were not aware of any technology exchange agreements between ULi and ATi that could become embarrassing with nVidia as the new ULi owner.

nVidia emphasizes that the acquisition of ULi adds significant Engineering Resources to the chipset/MCP development team. Bryan del Rizzo, NVIDIA Public Relations, commented: "ULi has significant presence in Taiwan, China, and the Asian market. That was attractive to NVIDIA. ULi also has a Taiwan Design Center. As a US Company, the addition of a Taiwan Design Center will be an asset to nVidia."

When asked if NVIDIA would continue to honor ULi supply commitments for current chipsets, del Rizzo indicated nVidia has no plans to change current ULi supply commitments in the short term. When asked about the longer term, del Rizzo replied "I can't comment on long-term nVidia plans."

NVIDIA Press Releases state that the acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and the acquisition is supposed to be completed in the first quarter of NVIDIA's Fiscal 2006. According to del Rizzo, that means NVIDIA expects to have the acquisition completed by late January 2006.



View All Comments

  • Regs - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    The person who states the hardware sucks is speaking in a general sense from few and in-between sources and the one that speaks otherwise to defend the product is coming from a personal perspective with little merit? Dear lord. Just end it. Reply
  • nserra - Thursday, December 15, 2005 - link

    With this acquisition nvidia can concentrate in developing single chip designs (AMD), two chip designs (for intel and AMD), IGP (intel and amd) and professional (opteron chips).

    nvidia will be in full force.
  • Hi - Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - link

    this is good for people that work at Uli, it will make sure that they will continue to have a job since Uli isnt the leader in the market and Nvidia isnt going anywhere. as for Ati if they cant build a fully functioning south bridge we might see them resort to other companies like Via or Intel Reply
  • timmiser - Friday, December 16, 2005 - link

    I wish I had your confidence but usually when a very large company buys a very small company, the bigger company can absorb them without the need to bring on very many of the small companies employees. I doubt very much this will be good for current ULI employees. Reply
  • Missing Ghost - Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - link

    http://darthno.ytmnd.com/">NNOOOOOOOOO Reply
  • Tanclearas - Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - link

    Hopefully this transaction is not permitted, but it'll probably go through. Remember that ULi was the only company to produce an AGP/PCIe chipset. They also were responsible for providing a decent performing southbridge to pair with ATI's great northbridge. ULi seemed to be a company that recognized opportunities left open by both ATI and Nvidia, and capitalized on them with innovative solutions. Even if you would never buy ULi, I think you would still have to recognize that this acquisition will have a negative impact on the consumer. Reply
  • Live - Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - link

    I think you summed it up. As a consumer this is no good. For Nvidia it seems like a smart move. ULI were becoming a factor to be reckoned with and cooperated with Nvidias archrival ATI. If I were Nvidia I would buy ULI too.

    Big question is why didn’t ATI?

    Hopefully VIA and SIS can snap up some of the talent and get back in the game. We need more competition.
  • DigitalFreak - Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - link

    "ATI has the highest confidence in our own chipset design team. Any current issues will be resolved with the release of the SB600 south bridge which is on schedule"

  • Griswold - Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - link

    Almost as funny as people saying nvidia got their homework done with their chipsets, eh? We've all come to love the shitty SATA/PATA nforce driver quality, dont we? Reply
  • bob661 - Wednesday, December 14, 2005 - link


    We've all come to love the shitty SATA/PATA nforce driver quality
    Mine works great. Maybe you need to check your OS load.

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now