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SiS to ship 800MHz FSB notebook chipset

Offers better AGP than AGP, apparently

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SiS will next month bring the Pentium 4's 800MHz effective bit rate frontside bus to notebook PCs when its SiSM661FX chipset goes into mass production, the company said today.

The SiSM661FX, which was officially unveiled earlier this month, supports any Pentium 4 CPU, 266, 333 and 400MHz DDR SDRAM, and the company's notebook-oriented accelerated AGP graphics bus, Ultra AGP II, which, says SiS, "provides lower signal latency and offers greater transmission bandwidth between the built-in graphic engine and memory controller".

In other words, the integrated graphics engine uses the 3.2GBps main memory bus (provided the system actually uses DDR 400) rather than a 2.1GBps AGP 8x interface. That said, the memory controller can only support two DDR 400 DIMMs but three 266 or 333MHz modules.

The SiSM166FX's integrated graphics engine supports dual-screen set-ups using the notebook's display and an external CRT, LCD or TV. It supports a maximum resolution of 1600x1200. The DirectX 9-compatible engine supports "two pixel rendering pipelines and four texture units per cycle".

The chipset incorporates SiS' HyperStreaming technology to boost system performance, primarily by improving the bandwidth between the part's North and South Bridge (the SiS964) chips to 1GBps, but also by optimising certain types of data traffic through other parts of the system.

The SiS964 provides dual-channel Serial ATA support with RAID 0, 1 and JBOD. Two ATA-133 channels are provided too. It can handle up to eight USB 2.0 ports and features a built-in Ethernet controller and 56Kbps modem. There's an integrated keyboard and PS/2 mouse controller, and six-channel AC97 sound.

The SiSM661FX will ship next month, with motherboards based on the chipset coming to market in September. ®

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