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VIA aims latest P4 chipsets at HDTV generation

Integrates UniChrome Pro graphics

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Reg Kit Watch VIA today launched a pair of integrated chipsets for the Pentium 4, touting the parts' graphics performance delivered courtesy of an S3 Graphics UniChrome Pro core.

The chipsets, the PM800 and PM880, offer single- and dual-channel 400MHz DDR SDRAM memory controllers, respectively. That's their only distinguishing feature: both can handle up to 8GB of RAM and both support the P4's 800MHz effective bit rate frontside bus.

In addition to the UniChrome Pro core, both chipsets support external AGP 8x interfaces. The integrated graphics engine is based on a pair of 128-bit pixel pipelines clocked at 200MHz. Up to 64MB of the host PC's main memory bank can be assigned as video RAM.

The core's graphics output system, dubbed the Chromotion CE Video Display Engine, sports a 350MHz RAMDAC and is capable of supporting all HDTV formats, VIA said, including 1080p. The engine can handle two output devices. It also features DVD decoding in hardware, backed by adaptive de-interlacing and video de-blocking filters for improved playback on non-interlaced displays, such as LCD panels. The system also supports video encoding.

The PM800 and PM880 North Bridge parts ship with VIA's standard VT8237 South Bridge, which supports four-device Serial ATA with RAID and up to four ATA-133 devices. It also integrates VIA's Vinyl multi-channel audio sub-system. I/O support includes 10/100Mbps Ethernet and eight USB 2.0 ports.

Both the PM800 and PM 880 IGP chipsets are available now, and motherboards based on them are expected to be available in Q2 2004, VIA said. ®

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