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Via claims to ship AMD Athlon chipset in volume

But PC manufacturers say no samples for six weeks

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Updated Taiwanese chipset manufacturer and Intel microprocessor rival Via claimed today that it has started volume shipments of its Apollo KX-133 chipset to 20 of its motherboard customers. But PC manufacturers which use the Via chipset said today that the earliest they could expect to receive the KX-133 in mobos was likely to mid-February, contradicting the firm's claims. Via, which is currently snarled in litigation with Intel over alleged patent infringements, did not name the companies when it issued a statement first thing UK time this morning, but said it had opened a special KX-133 zone at its web site. The KX-133 chipset is an Athlon chipset which the company claims supports AGP 4x and PC-133, and allows builds of lean, mean motherboards. The chipset is being built by its fab partner, TSMC, the biggest semiconductor firm on the island of Taiwan. It uses a .35 micron three metal layer process and costs $34 when bought in large quantities, said Via. One PC manufacturer who declined to be named, suggested that there was not one motherboard vendor who actually has samples ready to ship, leading us to believe that Via is not immune from the type of problems that affect Intel and other semiconductor manufacturers. The homepage for Via can be found here. At press time this morning, the so-called "KX-133 Zone" was not up and running, but a representative said it would be there in an hour or so. ®

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