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Intel 'to add 946' to Broadwater chipset line-up

Mainstream-marke chipset family extended

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Intel is to extend its 'Broadwater' chipset family down into the lower reaches of the mainstream market segment at launch, Taiwanese motherboard-maker sources have claimed.

The moles, cited by DigiTimes, say Broadwater, which will ship as the 965 and 963 ranges, will also form the basis for a 946 series.

Intel's mainstream chipset range current stretches from the entry-level 865 line and a single 875 model, all providing AGP graphics card connectivity, through the 915 up to the 945 series, both of which support PCI Express. The arrival of the Broadwater family is likely to push the 865/875 chipsets into the budget segment or off the market altogether.

The sources claim the 946 will use the existing ICH7 South Bridge family rather than the upcoming ICH8 line, which will underpin the 965 series. Like the 965/963 North Bridge parts, 946-series North Bridge chips are expected to be fabbed at 90nm.

Four 965-class chipsets are expected to arrive in Q2 2006: the P965, G965, Q965 and Q963. The first three support 800MHz DDR 2 SDRAM, and all will provide a 1066MHz frontside bus.

The sources also claimed Intel will launch two new 945-series chipsets: the 945GT and 945GZ, both pitched at small form-factor PCs. ®

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