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Further Intel, VIA shenanigans emerge

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After we revealed at last week's Computex that VIA was facing tough pressure from Intel over its PC-133 chipset, further evidence has emerged of the chip giant's Machiavellian manoeuvres. (Story: Intel outed on PC-133) According to the latest issue of Forbes magazine, Intel has sent out a heap of letters in an attempt to dissuade PC vendors from shipping a VIA chipset which offers better performance than Intel can. Intel is relying on its Camino chipset to deliver a 133MHz front side bus (FSB) but as we reported earlier this week, the chipset is delayed again. (Story: Camino delay will mean Intel compromises) Forbes reprints letters sent from Intel's Ron Smith to customers which indicate the level of the chip behemoth's ire. One letter Forbes quotes says that VIA might be claiming that its PC-133 chipset with a 133MHz front side bus was manufactured by NatSemi and so licensed by Intel. Smith continues that Intel's position is that VIA's parts, whether fabbed by NatSemi or not, does not form part of an Intel-National cross licence deal. Smith followed this up by sending off another missile, sorry missive, co-signed by the CEO of VIA, saying that the VIA PC-133 chipset was not part of the licence agreement the two companies had signed. Many observers are of the opinion that Intel licensed its chipset to VIA, OPTi and others to avoid action against it from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). As we exclusively reported in The Register, Intel is gunning for VIA. The suit it "accidentally" launched last month appears to be no joke. Our understanding is that individuals at Intel responsible for the so-called "clerical error" have lost their jobs. The dispute between Intel and VIA has deeper implications and centres around the massive support PC manufacturers are giving the PC-133 standard. VIA has around 800 employees and Intel around 65,000. Go figure this one. ® See also What do Rambus, Micron and Samsung have in common? VIA revenues soar on PC-133 wave PC-133 wins the day in old Taipei Intel made big, big mistake sueing VIA Computex 99 coverage

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