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FIC gives Intel BX440 board hearty resuscitation

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A dearth of BX chipsets from Intel at the end of last year caused quite a few problems for motherboard manufacturers and PC manufacturers, particularly given certain difficulties with the i820 (Camino) chipset. But that dearth of product was fixed in a month or two, although every Intel roadmap we've seen since indicates desuetude for the very fine 440BX chipset some time this year. First International Corporation (FIC), however, clearly thinks there's life in the old dog yet, and yesterday released its FB11 motherboard, which supports Socket 370 for Pentium IIIs and uses the 440BX set. The FB11 will support up to a gigabyte of synchronous memory, enables both the 100MHz and the 133MHz system buses, and, in addition, will also support the Via Joshua processor, FIC said. Gene Sheu, who heads FIC's PC division, described the FB11, in conjunction with Coppermine technology, as a "winning combination", giving chipset stability (Caminogate, cough) and raw power and performance (Caminogate, cough). The FB11 will take Pentium IIIs between 450MHz and 1GHz, Celerons from 433MHz to 633MHz (cough), and the Joshua running at 100/133MHz system bus speeds. It supports four DIMM memory modules, includes one AGP, five PCI and two ISA slots, and uses the ATX form factor. No prices were available at press time. FIC is a major supplier to a number of large PC companies including Compaq, and unfortunately finds itself in litigation with Intel right now. Intel had the idea for a flip chip configuration using the BX440 chipset last December, a month after Caminogate, as you can find out by going to this page. ® Related Stories FIC's motherboard roadmap

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