From a recent blog post by Michael Feldman at HPCwire
“I think some time down the road it makes sense to take the same level of integration that we’ve done with Tegra,” said Hara [Michael Hara, senior VP of investor relations]. “Tegra is by any definition a complete computer on a chip, and the requirements of that market are such that you have to be very low power, very small, but highly efficient. So in that particular state it made a lot of sense to take that approach, and someday it’s going to make sense to take the same approach in the x86 market as well.”
He went on to say that it was not a matter of if the company will do this, but when, and gave a two or three year timeframe when we might expect to see the first NVIDIA x86 parts. At that point, SoC architectures will even make sense for larger platforms like small form factor PCs (netbooks and nettops), a market NVIDIA is currently going after with its ION platform. ION incorporates a GeForce 9400 GPU with an Intel Atom CPU on a hand-sized board.
Michael goes on to speculate how this might impact HPC workloads (not directly at first, since they don’t intend to compete in the server space, but could over the long term) and how NVIDIA would license the platform given that they aren’t exactly on Intel’s Friends and Family plan. Its a good read.