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Souped up i820 hits the streets

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Intel's revamped i820E chipset starts shipping today, a couple of weeks earlier than expected. Featuring a new ICH2 I/O controller hub supporting four USB ports, the 820E also has an integrated LAN controller, dual Ultra ATA/100 IDE controllers and Dolby surround-capable six-channel audio.

The new chipset uses the same RDRAM Memory Controller Hub (MCH) found on the original 820, meaning there will still be a maximum of two RIMM slots on the mobo. A reworked (aka functional) Memory Translator Hub (MTH), enabling SDRAM support is still on track for Q3, said an Intel Europe spokesman.

The ICH2 offers 24Mbps of bandwidth across four USB ports and an enhanced AC'97 interface supporting full surround-sound for DVD Dolby Digital audio.

The 820E is priced at $35 in 1000-unit quantities. ®

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