Fudo and his gang discovered MCP7A-GL motherboard over at Chinese Iworkstation.com.cn. This motherboard is “body of evidence” that Nvidia finally found the guts to go after the workstation market with embedded Quadro chipset.
Over the course of years, I’ve seen couple of Quadro motherboards, but Nvidia never dedicated themselves to creating a market. Personally, I saw that as a big mistake, and often questioned chipset guys about professional solutions.
Nvidia was afraid that the move would cannibalize their cash cow, Quadro series of cards, but that fear just didn’t made any sense – at the end of the day, a company has to increase the market share, not reduce it. I always viewed Quadro and FireGL as “AMG” and “M” divisions from Mercedes and BMW – divisions that tune up everyday products for special use. Thus, Nvidia not investing into something that is really easy to do.
Here’s a guide for Nvidia and AMD to make a workstation chipset:
1) Take a chipset that you already manufacture – with integrated graphics, of course.
2) Add ID that will identify the integrated GPU as FirePro/Quadro
3) Build a motherboard with workstation-quality components
4) Qualify the motherboard
5) Launch the product for desktop and notebook, target niche segment with $10-50 higher ASP
As you can see, easy-peasy – since the product has already been developed for consumer market, only thing you need is 5-year lasting components and qualy.
But nevermind, good to see that someone did it. Now, we will see can Nvidia actually steal mobile workstation market with upcoming Quadro 2Go chipset (effectively this chipset packed in mobile form factor).
Could it be that the next refresh of Apple’s MacBook Pro hardware will feature Quadro chipset instead of desktop one? Only time will tell.
Next one should be AMD 780G-based FirePro. Of course, once that AMD finally releases Opteron for notebooks.