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Board makers wonder if AMD, VIA can keep up

Will we have a demand-supply crunch?

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Computex 2000 Customers are crying out for Athlons based on the latest KT-133 Via chipset, but can Via pump out the volumes?

Motherboard manufacturers at the Computex trade show today expressed concern with VIA's ability to match demand.

AMD launched its Thunderbird Athlons on Monday, but a source at a major mobo manufacturer said today that it had been encouraged to launch designs based on a Via solution rather than one from the microprocessor company.

He said early indications were that Via would be unable to supply sufficient quantities of the chipset to meet the demand, and that AMD had encouraged his firm to design the solution round the Taiwanese firm's solution.

But Richard Brown, marketing director at Via, was confident his company could deliver enough silicon to meet the needs of the motherboard makers.

He said: "Always, when you launch a product, there's a huge demand and you're working hard to keep up with that demand. There will be enough chipsets to run with the CPU."

He said that Via had planned its chipset production very carefully. "We've had to work very hard to plan the production of this part and have worked closely with AMD," he said.

AMD estimates it will sell 20 million CPUs during the course of this year, but from quarter three, the bulk of those microprocessors will be Athlons, supplied from Dresden.

  • In other news, Via formally introduced its Cyrix III microprocessor, available in clock speeds of between 533MHz and 666MHz. Using 0.18 micron technology, Via claimed that it offered advantages over Celeron in terms of power consumption, using 11 watts, compared to the Intel average of 17 watts for its entry level microprocessor. The 533MHz part costs $75 and the 666MHz (sorry Via, we know you want us to say 667) costs $160. It will ship in volume at the end of this month and distribution deals are in place.
  • And in more news on the AMD front, it emerged today that mobile Athlon chips will include the Power Now technology that will come with K6s this month. However, the way the parts work will differ with the mobile Athlons, although such microprocessors will arrive late towards the end of this year. ®

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