Compaq likely to use Via's Joshua chip

Average selling price of $80, speeds of 466MHz

Via took the wraps off its Cyrix III (Joshua) processor in California yesterday and sources close to the firm suggested a deal with both Compaq and E-machines are likely to be the earliest wins for the chip. The company is also beginning to yield 466MHz Cyrix IIIs, although it is likely that Via will continue to use the pesky PR rating, which confuses many. The microprocessor supports three front side bus speeds, at 66MHz, 100MHz and 133MHz, and the 256K level two cache includes a fuse repair technology which can potentially double yield. Average selling prices for the microprocessors are likely to be in the $80-$85 dollar range, according to sources close to the firm. The Cyrix III uses a socket 370 package, and is compatible with a range of motherboards already in the market, according to Via. It supports the 3DNow! technology used by AMD, which is a non-Intel version of the famous Screaming Sindie extensions. The microprocessor uses a .18 micron process technology, and also has a redesigned core, the company said. The ability of Via to sell the microprocessors is likely to be better than Cyrix's stab at this. Via bought Cyrix last year but has the advantage that it is on very good terms with other Taiwanese companies. An ASP of $80 is likely to make the processor an attractive option for smaller system builders. ®

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