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VIA talks to Intel about P4 licence…

...even though it already claims it has the rights to it

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VIA is going to produce a Pentium 4 chipset based on DDR SDRAM, whatever Intel thinks about it, the Taiwanese company admitted at CeBit last week.

Interestingly, VIA is talking to Intel about its plans, according to Shane Dennison, one of its marketing managers, cited by eWeek. "Of course, we'd like to go the proper route," he said. "We're currently in negotiations with Intel, but we feel we're in a strong position to go forward with this."

Dennison's comments sound bullish, but they're nevertheless a step back from VIA's previous stance that it already has rights to P4 thanks to the IP assets it acquired by buying S3's graphics chip business. Chipzilla rumbles and roars that the Taiwanese chipset maker is wrong, very wrong.

Still, VIA's DDR-supporting PX266 is due later this year, alongside similar parts from SiS and Acer Labs, both of which have already licensed the right to support P4 from Intel.

Interestingly, VIA recently said it will bundle DDR memory produced by one of its sister companies, Nanya, with its chipsets. And Ken Hurley, the head of Nanya's US and European operations, told us yesterday that with 128MB PC-2100 DDR DIMMs down to $79 a pop, the memory technology will rapidly become the dominant format in the P4 PC market.

Chipzilla itself won't support DDR until Q1 2002, when it introduces a DDR version of Brookdale, the non-Rambus P4 chipset it will roll-out early Q3. Brookdale will initially support PC-133 SDRAM and is designed to accelerate P4 sales. Which may now prove harder than Intel reckons given the state of the PC market right now, ahem. ®

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