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Nvidia would transform downtown San Jose into new mobile graphics capital


Graphics chip giant Nvidia is negotiating to move its headquarters from Santa Clara to downtown San Jose, the San Jose Mercury News is reporting. That’s about two blocks from Adobe Systems headquarters.

The significance of this: If Nvidia does the deal to occupy the vacant Sobrato building, you’ll have the biggest maker of graphics chips within spitting distance of the biggest maker of graphics software.

This is the sort of scenario that politicians dream about – though I’m not quite sure if the folks in San Jose realize the significance quite yet. These two huge tech companies with complementary strengths could possibly create an ecosystem and draw similar companies to the immediate area. It’s natural.

Adobe, of course, cares a lot about Nvidia’s chip development; its software programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator and Premiere rely heavily on high-end graphics processors.

Likewise, Nvidia’s got to care a lot about what Adobe’s doing. Adobe’s applications create professional demand for Nvidia’s chips. And since Nvidia’s eager to push its GoForce mobile GPUs into more phones, Adobe and Nvidia share another huge strategic goal: Making the cell phone a more viable platform for consuming rich media. (Since it completed its purchase of Macromedia a few months ago, Adobe has been even more eager to get its Flash software integrated into more phones.)

Should the San Jose City Council decide to offer Nvidia a subsidy to move in, the Mercury News says, Nvidia could move by June 2007. It’s not hard to imagine certain development communities – and startups – being very eager to set up camp outside the doors of these two. That is, if Adobe and Nvidia become neighbors.