Nvidia had a major announcement last night and it said that it plans to open up SLI to its ODM and OEM customers. We can confirm the previous story here, as we were present when the announcement was made.
At the same time Nvidia insists that it will also keep the Nforce 200 chip and X58 boards based on this chip. So there will be a chance that a motherboard manufacturer will be able to make an X58 board and use this software key, but only if they pay up. Nvidia sees Intel as an ODM who makes motherboards, if Intel pays up, the reference X58 will be able to run SLI.
Nvidia doesn’t want to give SLI to Intel or to any other motherboard manufacturer for free, as it wants to make some money on licensing. This is the business model behind it.
Nvidia haven’t disclosed how much it plans to charge for this software SLI license but it told the world that X58 boards based on software SLI will be available when Bloomfield, aka Core i7 Nehalem, launches.