A Taiwanese web-site said quoting an official from VIA Technologies that the company was not surprised with the success of NVIDIA’s excellent nForce2 sales in the second quarter and admitted that this is the only core-logic for AMD Athlon XP microprocessors with dual-channel DDR SDRAM memory controller, a feature that even VIA’s latest KT600 product lacks.
NVIDIA confirmed a number of times that nForce2 sales have been skyrocketing during the last two or three quarters, so, the success of the nForce2 is not a surprise for anyone in the industry. According to DigiTimes, NVIDIA nForce2 chipset accounted for over 50% of total mainboard shipments in June for the Advanced Micro Devices Athlon XP processor clone market. Nevertheless, VIA’s share in overall AMD chipsets market is still bigger compared to NVIDIA’s.
Obviously, VIA’s positions in the AMD Athlon XP-designed chipsets market are strong because of price-constraint in the SIs and OEMs sector. Such limitations allow VIA to successfully market its inexpensive single-channel products with or without integrated graphics. However, with the introduction of the NVIDIA nForce2 400 chipset with single-channel PC3200 support, VIA’s positions are under attack.
Market share in the mentioned markets of Silion Integrated System (SiS) is not really significant at the moment.
The situation in the chipset market may change with the ramp of AMD Athlon 64 processors. Since AMD’s 64-bit chip for desktops is not expected to become a big seller this year, I assume that the real fight on the chipset front will start in late Q1 or Q2 next year. With totally new products and being in almost equal positions leading chipset designers will show us who is who.