Have you ever thought of a day when only one CPU or GPU controlled the entire system and the other option was no longer available? I recently.
That thought came to my mind when I was thinking about the recent Intel-NVidia lawsuit that involved licensing rights to develop chipsets that support the Core i7 Nehalem processors. Intel is the processor powerhouse, and NVidia is a major GPU competitor against ATI.
Years ago, when the computers were still at a lower level and Intel battled AMD with its new Pentium processors, not much was integrated. Memory controllers were in a separate location on the motherboard, the memory was still controlled by the memory controller, there was only DDR memory and the GPU was in its separate location and received commands from the CPU. Initially, a computer could not work without a CPU or GPU. The computer had to have both. You definitely need a CPU to send commands to other components through the motherboard to make the computer work, and you need a GPU to have a display to show.
As developers and manufacturers developed new and better computer hardware at an alarming rate, things started to integrate. AMD was the first to install the on-die memory controller in its CPUs. NVidia was founded and started to develop its own GPUs. Intel began developing the Core2 series and motherboard chipsets. For CPUs, it became more and more advanced to be able to process commands and data faster and to be able to send them to computer components. CPUs and GPUs developed at a neck-to-neck speed, and both became increasingly powerful and efficient.
And now, here we are today, with the Core i7 Nehalmen processors, the popular 4870 X2 from ATI and the GTX 295 GPUs from NVidia, one with 2 GPUs on a graphics card and the latter with a powerful GPU. Intel is now integrating its on-die memory controller into the CPU itself, and now there are motherboards with an integrated GPU that are powerful enough to produce a good display on monitors. Everything is INTEGRATED.