VIA ships 266MHz chipset

Plenty of new Athlon-friendly features

VIA today began shipping its high-bandwidth, 266MHz DDR SDRAM and Athlon-supporting two-chip chipset, the Apollo KT266.

Demo'd at Comdex last November, the KT266 supports AMD's Socket A chip interface, connecting the processor to the rest of the world via a 266MHz frontside bus. The chipset supports up to 266MHz DDR (Double Data Rate) SDRAM on the memory side for a maximum data throughput rate of 2.1GBps, but will also work with PC-133 SDRAM. It can cope with 4GB of RAM, according to VIA's press release, but only 2GB if the company's Web site is to be believed. Go figure...

The board also features VIA's V-Link Hub Architecture, which ups bandwidth between North Bridge and South Bridge to 266MBps, which doubles the throughput if the PCI bus, VIA claimed.

For internal peripherals, the KT266 supports the 100MBps ATA-100 spec. - external devices can be connected through any of six USB ports. Graphics support comes in the form of AGP 4x, and networking buffs will by unsurprised by the 10/100 Ethernet support but like the KT266's HomePNA port. The chipset also boasts a six-channel audio subsystem.

Notebook vendors will be able to use KT266 for Mobile Athlon-based machines since the new chipset also works with AMD's PowerNow power-saving technology.

Available now, the KT266 is fabbed at 0.25 micron. It costs $34 a pop in batches of 1000. VIA reckons the "world's leading motherboard manufacturers" are already building mobos based on the new chipset. ®