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Via-AMD chipsets set to enter mass production

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The KZ133 chipset from Via, a Socket A solution which supports AMD's up-and-coming Thunderbird microprocessor are expected to go into mass production at the end of this month, insiders in Taiwan told The Register today.

But boards using the KZ133 chipset, which has been sampling for three and a half weeks, are likely to head the way of large and loyal AMD and Via customers before they enter the retail market, other sources indicated.

Thunderbird is an AMD Athlon microprocessor with a large amount of on-die cache, and will pose a stiff challenge to the Intel Pentium III platform in performance terms.

While AMD is also producing a chipset for these products, Via -- which hopes to hog nearly 50 per cent of the chipset market by the end of this year - is important to the success of Thunderbird largely because many third party Taiwanese manufacturers rely on it for their supplies.

However, if mass production happens at the end of this month, that means that realistically it will be later on in June before systems - probably from the likes of IBM and Gateway - arrive on end users' desktops. ®

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