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VIA ‘to be number one chipset vendor by year end’

Will also have one chipset to support both Pentium 4 and Foster

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San Jose In the first half of next year, VIA will have an IA-32 chipset capable of supporting both Pentium 4 (Willamette) and Foster, Eric Chang, director of product marketing, claimed today.

Speaking at the Platform 2000 conference in San Jose, Chang explained that although VIA didn't currently have a licence for future IA32 architecture, he was confident that it soon would.

"We've got 40 per cent market share now and will have at least 50 per cent by the end of the year," he claimed. "With that market share, Intel needs us onside."

VIA's snappily-named Pro2000 V-Link P6 DDR chipset for Pentium IIIs is sampling this month and targeted for customer delivery in Q4. With AGP 4x, support for two-way SMP, 133MHz FSB and both PC-133 and DDR266 SDRAM with buffered or unbuffered DIMMS.

A new V-link bus between the north and south bridges delivers up to 266Mbps peak. The South Bridge also has built-in Ethernet, dual UDMA 100 IDE controllers and hardware acceleration for audio.

What it doesn't have is ISA, everyone now being in agreement that it's Gulag time for the creaky old standard.

An Athlon version will start sampling in Q3, added Chang.

In the mobile area, a PowerNow-enabled version of the KT133 is sampling this monthfor mobile Athlons, while a value segment Shared Memory Architecture (SMA) Duron version incorporating S3 Savage graphics, codenamed Twister, will sample towards the end of the year. Twister has all the usual features plus TV in/out and Ethernet. A version for Intel's mobile PIIIs and Celerons, dubbed P6 Twister, is also in the works. ®

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