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AMD heralds PCI Express chipsets

Chipset vendors line up with products

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AMD formally welcomed its Athlon 64 processor family into the world of PCI Express, touting the availability of chipsets that support the new add-in card format.

According to AMD, chipset makers ATI, Nvidia, SiS, ULi and VIA will be offering "a broad range" of PCI Express products.

No great surprise there, since details of almost all of these vendors' AMD-oriented PCI Express parts have long since leaked out. Even ATI chief, Dave Orton, recently admitted that the company was already shipping its PCI-E chipsets, believed to be offered under the Radeon Xpress brand name.

Nvidia, meanwhile, unveiled its nForce 4 chipsets earlier this month ahead of today's formal introduction of the new family. The vanilla nForce 4 is expected to sport dual Serial ATA channels and be pitched at Socket 939 AMD processors, with the HyperTransport bus clocked at up to 1GHz. An Ultra version will add improved network processing facilities, while the SLI release will naturally provide a pair of PCI Express add-in slots.

There's also talk of a budget version, pitched at Socket 754 processors and equipped with just a single Serial ATA bus. This may be the product once suggested as a server-oriented nForce 4, though the processor socket implies that Nvidia has other roles in mind.

VIA's K8T890 won't ship until next month, but will offer one PCI-E x16 slot for graphics and four more x1 slots for other add-ins. The chip maker announced today plans to offer a dual-x16 version of the chipset in due course. Dubbed DualGFX Express, the technology "stands ready to support all dual graphics card industry standards", said VIA,

SiS is expected to ship its SiS716 chipset next month, followed by an integrated version incorporating the company's Mirage1 graphics core. ®

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