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Nvidia specs up single-chip Intel integrated chipsets

MCP73 to be followed by DirectX 10-capable MCP79, apparently

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Analyst claims that Nvidia is close to releasing low-cost chipsets targeting Intel processors gained weight this week when Far Eastern moles detailed the single-chip products' - said to be codenamed 'MCP73' and 'MCP79' - specifications.

The MCP73 is said to support a 1,066MHz frontside bus and can host a single-channel 667MHz DDR memory bus, a Chinese-language report at HKEPC states. The part has a GeForce 7-class GPU on board, supporting H.264 decoding and HD output at 720p. The MCP73 also supports HDMI.

The single-chip chipset will host up to four 3Gbps SATA drives and a single parallel ATA peripheral. It can run up to ten USB ports and has Gigabit Ethernet on board. Its audio capabilities remain unknown.

While the MCP73 is said to be fabbed at 80nm - the same process ATI was recently claimed to be using for its RS690 Intel-oriented chipset - its successor, the MCP79, is claimed to be in line for 55nm production. Less is known about the MCP79, but it's said to contain a GeForce 8-class GPU to allow it to support DirectX 10. It too will host HDMI ports and HD resolutions of up to 1080i. It will connect to the CPU over a 1,333MHz FSB, the report claims.

The MCP73 is said be scheduled to ship in sample quantities in Q1 2007, followed by mass-production in Q2. The MCP79 won't sample until Q4, with volume output kicking off in Q1 2008.

Earlier this month, Pacific Growth Equities analyst Satya Chillara warned Nvidia off releasing Intel-oriented integrated chipsets too early, suggesting it should wait until its gross margin outlook improved. That, he said, would come after a couple of quarters, which is pretty much when the MCP73 will ship in volume, if HKEPC's moles are correct. ®

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