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Via to intro new Athlon chipset, DDR desktop next week

Athlon chipset and PC-266 clear attempt to queer Intel's pitch

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Shaken but not stirred by repeated legal action Intel has taken against it since June, Via Technologies is to take the giant head on at Comdex/Fall next week. Publicly, Via will unveil its long-awaited support for the AMD Athlon processor, a move that will further put heat on Intel. And sources close to the company say that Via will unveil a DDR (double data rate) synchronous memory strategy aimed at desktop PCs, rather than servers. This might be behind closed doors but Via doesn't seem to get scared very easily, so may well go public on the whole shebang. So far, most companies which have announced support for DDR, have restricted it to their server families. Synchronous memory is far cheaper than Rambus memory at present. Intel engineers are currently struggling to create a PC-133 chipset for early release in the year 2000. This is bound to irritate Intel, which is using the glitzy Las Vegas venue and its key PC partners to show Coppermine processors running in i820 motherboards, using PC-100 synchronous DRAM and Rambus memory. Via is also likely to step up its efforts on the CPU front. As well as demoing its own "Joshua" chip, it is likely to outline its further microprocessor roadmap, the sources added. It now claims it has integrated both Cyrix and Centaur-IDT x.86 technology and will preview a whole low-cost family of parts at Comdex. Via is a so-called "fabless" processor company, meaning that it does not have the huge capital costs Intel has. It also has excellent relationships with the majority of Taiwanese IT related companies. The "Joshua" reference will not be lost on Intel. The chip giant is seen by Via as a modern Jericho and the Taiwanese company wants to see its walls, in Mission Boulevard, Satan Clara, come tumbling down. Sources added that Via, which has a stand in the Sands exhibition centre, is also likely to demonstrate its KX-133 chipset running with some fast Athlon processors. The deal Via struck with S3 recently will mean the creation of a family of low cost integrated products. The sources added Via will show the Apollo ProMedia II for Slot 1 and Socket 370, which also includes an AGP4x expansion slot and is pin-compatible with the Apollo Pro 133A chipset. ® See also History of the Decline & Fall of the Intel Empire

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