Chipset vendors insist world is wafer flat

Linda Harrison questions heady market share predictions

The arithmetic skills of the world's top chipset vendors were in doubt today. SiS has promised to mark its territory with a spray covering 35 per cent of the chipset market by 2002. Oh, Yeah? The Taiwanese vendor stated it would be shipping over 52 million chipsets by 2002, more than double this year's expected 21 million. To back up its claim, it plans to pour a steaming NT$40 billion into building a new 8in chip fab. Meanwhile, Via has set its sights on as much as half the chipset market by 2001. Oh, Yeah? So where does that leave Intel? With a measly 15 per cent, that's where. And that's only if ALi's market share fell to precisely zero. Which would represent a collapse of Walls of Jericho proportions for Chipzilla. And extinction for Acer-owned ALi. Chipzilla currently controls 73 per cent of the mainstream PC chipset market, according to Dataquest. That leaves only 27 per cent for the other three biggies –- VIA, SiS and Acer –- which stand in that order. "I think SiS is being a little optimistic," said Joe D'Elia, senior microprocessor analyst at Dataquest Europe. "Intel has the lion's share, and I don't think that will change." Intel refused to be drawn into a fist-fight over percentages, but a representative blurted: "They should be telling us how they are going to do it, that's what I'm interested in." Via is currently number two in the market, and D'Elia expects them to stay there. "And besides, there's no way that everyone can have 35 per cent," he added Indeed, for that would make 140 per cent. And no amount of benchmark fiddling can make that figure work.® Related stories Via, SiS aim for high chipset market share

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