It is going to take Intel just as long as AMD to release specs. The legal review is the bottleneck, from what I could gather.
I'd rather see Samsung, IBM or Oracle buy nVidia.
I don't think so. AMD has to be careful, indeed, and seeing the lag between the evil closed driver and the release of hardware programming info, they are *very very very very very* carefull.
Intel on the other hand does not fear anybody, they are *ways* bigger than AMD... AMD should hurry its legal review process to speed up releases of documentation/code. If they are fast enough, they will have complete and good open source support and will phase out nvidia chips from the pro market. And if they do not screw "fusion", they will storm the mass market, if intel has not bought nvidia or takes too much time to merge nvidia GPUs with their CPUs.
IBM could be one contender indeed... but from an open source advocate point of view, it's exactly like intel:we will have quickly the programming specs released, IBM is *huge* and a big fan of Linux. Fermi stuff is eye blinking towards IBM data crunching market. But it better be amazing (ways better than AMD), if not... I was told the power 6 is amazing for complexe data crunching that a GPU cannot do because of the constraints of shader programs.
Samsung? Their flat screens run GNU/Linux... and they are more electronic integrators. I don't see them taking on the complexity of modern GPUs... but that may be fresh air for samsung. If they leverage GPU power with GNU/Linux *directly* in flat panels, that could kill brands PC as we know it: domestic use of a computer seeks less cables and devices and TV DPIs are reaching those of computer flat panels.
oracle?????? WTF? Oracle going hardware? Able to buy after Sun deal?
More over, if nvidia releases the programming specs now, that would increase its value price since it would become open source friendly.
Everything works in our favor. The only missing bit is what microsoft will do in the shadows to hurt us.