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Via claims pole position for Athlon 64 chips

Roadmaps Notebook chipset close to release
Tue Sep 02 2003, 16:13
DOCUMENTS SEEN by the INQUIRER show that Via is making an all out bid to grab its place in the AMD64 sun.

Via has three chipsets for the Athlon 64 family, the K8T800, the K8M800 for the desktop and the K8N800 for the notebook market.

The last two chipsets are already sampling and will be introduced in the fourth quarter.

The K8M800 comes with integrated Unichrome graphics which includes a 200MHz engine, an 8MB to 64MB UMA frame buffer, and what Via is calling Hyper8 technology. This allows full speed, full specification 16-bit/1.6GHz Hypertransport CPU to chipset links. This chipset is supported by the VT8237 south bridge chip, which adds native Serial ATA and RAID as well as Vinyl audio to a desktop system. It's pin compatible with the K8T800.

Via is also readying the K8T890 north bridge, which supports both Opteron and Athlon 64 and uses PCI Express. The notebook chipset - the K8N800, also includes Unichrome graphics, allows external AGP expansion, supports USB 2.0, internal or external Serial ATA drives, includes 10/100 Ethernet and modem.

Via is making something of a play of its Hyper8 technology, telling its customers that it offers 1.6GHz, 16-bit 6.4GB/s bandwidth, while its competitors only offer 4.8GB/s and 3.2GB/s respectively.

It's claiming that Nvidia's Serial RAID and Native Serial ATA controller isn't ready, while it won't have Firewire, 10/100 or Gigabit Ethernet, or TV Out. It's also claiming that Nvidia only supports two S-ATA ports compared to its four.

The firm is also promoting what it calls "Drive Station" technology - native Serial ATA, which gives 150MB/s per port dual channel connection. This bypasses the PCI Bus and uses Via's Ultra V-Link chip. That's used in V-Raid.

The next south bridge chip from Via will be the VT8239, which will support four S-ATA ports and two IDE channels, giving a total of eight hard drives, V-Raid, and integrated IO/Apic. µ


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