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SiS goes PCI Express for Pentium 4, Athlon 64 FX

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SiS has begun sampling its first PCI Express-based North Bridge chips for AMD's Athlon 64 FX chip and Intel's Pentium 4.

The AMD part is supported by the SiS756 North Bridge. Like the Pentium 4-oriented SiS656 North Bridge, it has been designed to work with the company's SiS965 South Bridge part.

The 756 provides a PCI Express x16 interface for graphics cards, which yields an 8GBps bi-directional data transfer rate - rather higher than AGP 8x's 2.1GBps.

The 656 includes a dual-channel memory controller that can cope with 400MHz DDR SDRAM and 667MHz DDR 2, with support for up to four DIMMs and a 4GB memory ceiling. It also supports HyperThreading.

The SiS965 South Bridge will provide a pair of PCI Express x1 buses as PCI replacements, support for four Serial ATA devices (with RAID 1 0+1 and JBOD) and four ATA-133 devices, Gigabit Ethernet, eight USB 2.0 ports, 7.1 channel AC97 sound.

The SiS656 is expected to ship in motherboards in May, SiS said. It could not say when mobos based on the Athlon 64 FX chipset would become available. ®

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