nv30 problem rumor
I heard a rumor second hand that there has been a problem while trying to go from tapeout to first silicon with the nv30. What I heard is that there is currently a delay that could last from 2 weeks to 5 months depending on the severity of the problem. 2 weeks is basically TSMC has an easy to fix problem in their .13 process. 5 months is there is a flaw in the .13 process or a flaw in the nv30 design that would require a full workaround. This would force nvidia to go though the entire tapeout process again.
My thoughts on this is that this corresponds to another rumor that TSMC has told it's major customers recently not to tapeout any chips based on the .13 process since they are currently diagnosing an issue with it.
Also I think the stock option deal nvidia offered their employees a week ago could be seen as a way of trying to keep it's employees happy even if the much hyped nv30 is having problems. Though I'm pretty sure if they were acting on info they had about the nv30 that hasn't been released to stockholders this would be considered illegal since they are basically trading stock (or options in this case) with inside information (ie insider trading). But I definenlty don't know all the laws on this so I'm just adding this part on as food for thought if the first rumor turns out to be true.
I sure hope none of this is true because some competition for ATI at the high end would be a good thing.