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Via takes aim at AMD, Intel server chipset market

Takes it to the bridge

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Up-and-coming firm Via said today it will introduce a high bandwidth differential interconnect technology (HDIT) for future versions of its Apollo chipsets.

Although disguised in the jargon of technology, the significance of the announcement is that chipsets will be able to support server and workstation platforms using double data rate (DDR) memory, for both AMD and Intel microprocessors.

The company said in an announcement that HDIT will allow its PC customers to integrate DDR, AGP 4x and its 512Mbps v-link bus for desktops and notebooks, but will allow motherboards to double or quadruple memory bandwidth to 4.2Gbps for workstations and servers, using a 128-bit data path.

It will support speeds of up to 2.1Gbps for expansion slots when systems are configured in HDIT mode and use two extra 64-bit PCI-X chips, Via said.

Eric Chang, product marketing manager at Via, said: "The 32-bit 33MHz PCI bus with a peak bandwidth of 133Mbps, is no longer sufficient as the primary bus between the North Bridge and South Bridge and system expansion for advanced PC systems which are already being equipped with 1GHz processors.

"Any high-performance system with DRAM technology such as DDR SDRAM would be handicapped when paired with a 32-bit/33MHz PCI South Bridge. The system would not be able to fully benefit from advanced DDR SDRAM because the PCI bus has now become the system bottleneck."

First chipsets will appear in the first half of next year and will support both Intel and AMD microprocessors in the high end desktop, workstation and server range, he added. No Via CPUs appear to be supported by the innovation as yet. ®

  • Micron has just announced an "enablement kit" for DDR memory. Details of the toolbox can be found here.

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