$5 might be what it takes to motherboard makers to have a SLI-compatible Intel X58 based board. As a customer that would spend money on two boards, it really doesn’t sound like much so this would be a good news for early iCore7 (intel’s new processor) buyers, if confirmed. If you missed it, X58 is the Intel chip that controls the motherboard for the upcoming iCore7 processors.
At the moment, NVIDIA only has less than 15% market share of the chipsets for Intel processors, but this licensing deal could further broaden the reach of SLI (their multi-GPU solution). NVIDIA does not have a chipset compatible with iCore 7 at the moment… It’s hard to tell if getting $5 per board is a good deal (it doesn’t sound bad to me), but it allows NVIDIA to access market in a segment in which customers are more likely to buy two or three graphics cards worth hundreds of dollars each.
This is not just a new business opportunity: as gamers and enthusiast upgrade to iCore7, NVIDIA really “needs” to have SLI working for this platform to boost (or maintain) their high-end CPU sales. ‘m not sure how various sources got the $5 number, but I doubt that it’s from NVIDIA. As we said, treat this a “rumor”.