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Acer Labs P4 chipset gets USB 2, Memory Stick support

As will upcoming Athlon 4 part

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Acer Labs' official Pentium 4 chipset spec has leaked out onto the Web after some sneaky so-and-so email details to Digit-Life.

The chipset will not only support the new USB 2.0 connectivity system, but will allow system builders to add a Sony Memory Stick slot to their PCs. Maybe by then Microsoft will have added USB 2.0 support to Windows XP. Or maybe not.

The P4 chipsets will comprise either the M1671 or M1681 Northbridge chip, plus the M1563 Southbridge. The M1671 supports PC100 and PC133 SDRAM plus DDR, it can also cope with a AGP 4x. The M1681 adds AGP 8x support and provides a High Speed Link Bus connection to its Southbridge.

Speaking of which, the M1563 can handle up to six USB ports, including, USB 2.0 connectors, and can act as a 10/100 Ethernet controller. It can also drive HomePNA 1.0 and 2.0 networks, and can run a soft modem. The Southbridge also boasts a Sony Memory Stick interface. There's a UDMA 33/66/100 controller too.

Samples of the M1563 will be released in Q4, with volume production ramping up into Q1 2002, so the chipset isn't going to get into system much before Intel's own DDR product, a modified version of the i845 chipset aka Brookdale. The M1671 is set to ship in Q4. The M1681 will take longer, sampling in Q2 2002 and going into volume production in just over 12 months' time.

AMD Athlon systems will get it sooner, through the M1667 Northbridge. It's due to sample in Q4 2001 and ship the following quarter. It too operates with the M1563 Southbridge.

Even so, it's still likely to be long beaten to market by VIA's P4 chipset the P4X266, which is set to ship in August. ®

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