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VIA Technologies, a leading developer of computer chipsets, may change its approach to core-logic design within the next few months, as its presumable roadmap located on an Asian web-site lists a single-chip product code-named Tahoe. The latter features unusual design for VIA: previously only rival NVIDIA developed single-chip core-logic components for PC.

Single-chip core-logic from VIA Technologies – K8T935 – will be intended for AMD Athlon 64 and AMD Opteron microprocessors with 800MHz or 1000MHz HyperTransport bus, PCI Express lanes with ability for various configuration, support for PCI-X 64-bit 66MHz/100MHz/133MHz, 6 Serial ATA II ports with RAID (0, 1, 0+1, JBOD) support as well as other I/O functions. While the chip that is code-named Tahoe will be primarily intended for servers and workstations, it may still find way to desktops, as it still supports advanced HT bus for AMD Athlon 64 CPUs.

Mass production of the K8T935 "Tahoe" may begin as early as in Q2 2005, according to a document presumably from VIA's roadmap posted on HKEPC web-site.

So far VIA Technologies has developed only traditional chipsets for mainboards that contain North Bridge (memory controller hub) and South Bridge (I/O controller hub). Only NVIDIA Corp. has been offering single-chip core-logic products for mainboards supporting AMD64-series of processors. Given that AMD64 central processing units have build-in memory controller, which basically eliminates the need for separate North Bridge, single-chip approach is very cost-efficient for chipset and mainboard makers.

In case the information posted is correct, it may mean that VIA Technologies is changing its design approach under pressure from rival NVIDIA Corp., who has been penetrating the market of AMD64 chips heavily in the recent 18 months, achieving huge success and lion’s market share. According to NVIDIA, it currently commands over 80% of AMD64 chipset market.

VIA Technologies declined to comment on the news-story.


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