I worked for SGS-Thomson, later known as STMicroelectronics, and informally as STM or ST. (This was something of a mistake, as I thought I’d joined Inmos, but the transfer of ownership had already happened.) I’ll call it Inmos… Within Inmos in Bristol, there were two groups, the transputer group and the graphics group. Both had been designing chips using in-house tools and transputer-based workstations, but gradually both groups moved to using HDLs, and modern commercial tools - in the case of the transputer group, where I was, that was synthesis with Synopsys, and physical design (layout) using Cadence tools, and design rule checking with Dracula. Not sure whose simulation tools we used - possibly Mentor’s. There was a lot of innovation followed by acquisition and assimilation in the EDA tooling space.
Anyhow, my recollection is that there was some collaboration between the graphics group and NVIDIA, and some placement of engineers, and transfer of knowledge. Whatever the product of that, the upshot was that NVIDIA’s next project was pursued without ST.
My takeaway was that ‘we’ taught ‘them’ how to design and build chips.
Here’s a page:
In 1993, [Peter McGuinness] was instrumental in setting up the SGS-Thomson/nVidia joint development partnership. The strategic vision behind this project was to combine the emerging multimedia PC with the new possibility of integrating 3D graphics into a single chip to transform the PC into a fully fledged entertainment platform.
I note that '93 is also given as NV’s founding date.
My informal understanding is that NV won the GPU wars by relentlessly shipping new and improved product twice a year, for the trade shows, and any company which missed one of those self-imposed deadlines lost market share.