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VIA ‘to sell off’ mobo division

EPIA now more important than P4, though

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VIA is to pull out of the motherboard business now that its legal dispute with Intel is over, unnamed sources cited in DigiTimes claim.

And it will sell its motherboard division, VIA Platform Solutions Division (VPSD), to FIC, the sources also say.

If the claims are accurate, we can't say we're surprised. VIA got into the mobo market back in October 2001 in order to kick-start sales of its Pentium 4 chipset, the P4X266, which lay at the heart of Intel's quarrel with the company.

Intel claimed VIA's P4 chipsets violated its intellectual property rights. VIA said they didn't and would indemnify any mobo maker who shipped products based upon them against threatened legal action from Intel.

Few mobo makers were willing to risk Chipzilla's wrath, and VIA was forced to ship motherboards of its own devising.

These days, however, VIA has other fish to fry, and while it might not see the need to sell P4 motherboards, it is aggressively trying to build a market behind its EPIA mini-ITX platform, centred on its C3 x86-compatible processor family, and VPSD's mobos are part of that programme.

While it might well want to offload its P4 motherboards - and our own sources claim that's indeed what it intends to get rid of - EPIA is too important to VIA to kill off this part of its business. ®

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