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VIA plans DDR PIII, Athlon support

Chipsets a go-go

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VIA is developing the Apollo Pro 266/KX266, a DDR SDRAM compatible chipset for both Pentium III and Athlon.

According to Alex Chen of VIA, the company also has in the works a new chipset for 0.13 micron Pentium IIIs, the Apollo Pro 266T, and a chipset for the Pentium 4.

"Chipsets to be made by third parties will play a significant role in the penetration of Pentium 4," said Chen. "We are negotiating with Intel, and I don't think obtaining the license from Intel will be so difficult."

The development of the 266T follows Intel's plan to move production of the Pentium III to 0.13-micron technology. The signal level of the Pentium III will change from the current GTL+ to AGTL+ following the process shrink. VIA plans to release the 266T in the third quarter of 2001, when Intel starts shipments of 0.13-micron Pentium IIIs.

Chen also reckons that next year more desktop PCs will use the 0.13-micron Pentium III than Pentium 4.

And in a related move, we learn that Gigabyte's forthcoming GA-7DX mobo, providing DDR support for Athlon and Duron, will use the AMD 760 chipset with the 761 Northbridge, together with the ATA100-capable VIA 686B Southbridge.

The Socket A mobo will support up to 2Gb of PC1600 or PC2100 DDR SDRAM, but has only two DIMM slots, along with AGP, five PCI and an AMR slot and onboard Creative CT5880 audio.

AMD is expected to make a major DDR announcement in the not-too-distant future. ®

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