SiS SoCs it out
Chipset set to - The Reg takes a look
Taiwanese chipset maker SiS has begun its assault on the information appliance (IA) market. To do so, it has developed a line of System on Chip (SoC) products, its 550-series family, that it hopes to flog to its customers (players like Asus, Acer and MSI, among others) who in turn will evolve them into flashy consumer appliances.
Its primary competitor in this space, National Semiconductor, provides chips that end up becoming products like set-top boxes, thin clients, personal access devices and more. SiS claims that it will differentiate its offering in a variety of ways: by bundling software with the hardware; tying in additional technologies, such as its MPEG-2 decoder; and by making all of this cheaper than its competitor's products.
In terms of bundling the software with the hardware, it has developed both a Linux- and WinCE-based set-up, going as far as to develop its own Linux BIOS. By doing so, it has tied together a physical product that includes all the features of a typical mobo chipset, with the necessary drivers, OS kernel and application software embedded inside it.
One of its customers, as yet unnamed, hopes to bring the first of these products to market this Christmas. SiS hopes to develop SoC into a major line of business for the company.
SiS645 cleans up
Looking at its bread and butter business, SiS recently introduced its SiS645 mobo chipset, which is the first to support Pentium 4 and DDR333 SDRAM. In reviews around the Web, the chipset seems to have been applauded, continuing to establish SiS as a player in the chipset market (made easier with the current Intel/VIA tussle).
Tom's Hardware has an article on SiS645 in which it claims "SiS645 is THE i850 alternative for significantly less money.” (i850 is Intel’s P4/RDRAM alternative.)
Anandtech sings similar praises, stating that the chipset is "SiS' answer to the P4X266 ... many manufacturers are finding themselves instantly attracted to it as it is the first Pentium 4 chipset to receive an official license from Intel."