VIA climbs on Quad Band Memory bandwidth wagon
VIA and its US sub S3 Graphics are to produce chipsets which support Quad Band Memory (QBM). This memory technology, from Kentron Technologies, is designed to double the bandwidth of DDR SDRAM.
Kentron's pitch for QBM is that it "provides DDR II speeds, cost savings and a dramatic performance improvement over DDR333 and future DDR 400 and DDR II modules, as well as other non-DDR compatible, more expensive memory technologies".
The point is that DDR II devices are not out on the market yet - maybe 2004, maybe 2005 - while the first QBM QBM533 (PC4200) memory modules should be available for eval at the end of this year and swinging off the production lines in Q1, 2003. Also QBM is 'evolutionary' i.e. no big system redesigns, backward incompatibilities etc.
You can find a technical FAQ for spec, architecture, product launches and the like at Kentron's Quad Band Memory  web site.
Armed with a Kentron license, VIA/S3 will build QBM-enable chipsets for PC, server and workstation markets. According to Kentron "developers that use QBM enabled chipsets from VIA and S3 will immediately find themselves in a very strong, market leading position".
Hmm. Most OEMs have successfully resisted the blandishments of VIA, so far as Pentium 4 is concerned. VIA's stand-off with Intel over P4 licences is hurting the Taiwanese firm a helluva lot more than Chipzilla. Until VIA signs an official licence with Intel, P4 mobo makers will continue to flock to Intel or SiS chipsets.
VIA/S3 will try to address this by building their own QBM-enabled mobos. The next big challenge is to sell these - the Pentium 4 flavours, at any rate - to the system builders. reg;