The next-generation of graphics chips is due to arrive in PCs sometime this year. Both Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices are expected to deliver these chips for the personal computer market this year, but no one knows exactly when.
This change is so important that, depending on which way the rumors swing, it's bound to drive the stock prices of the rivals involved either up or down through the rest of the year. Because the companies haven't completely tipped their hands, the rumor mill is extremely active.
One of the linchpins to the rumors is that Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system is scheduled to ship on computers on Oct. 22. Will both Nvidia and AMD be ready with new chips for that day? Past history has shown that it's still very difficult to ship a brand new generation of graphics chips and adopt a new manufacturing process on a tight schedule.