Silicon Integrated Systems, a second-tier developer of chipsets, has reportedly landed orders from Intel Corp. to supply core-logic sets for low-end mainboards to be sold under Intel brand. The chipsets by SiS are set to replace ATI Radeon Xpress chipsets currently utilized on certain mainboards by Intel.
SiS will reportedly supply Intel its SiS662 core-logic for Intel’s D201GLY motherboard that is due to be released commercially in Q2 2007. Taiwan-based media, such as DigiTimes and Economic Daily News (EDN) note that this is the first time for SiS to land orders directly from Intel, which may indicate Intel’s positive attitude towards the chipset developer.
SiS662 is a low-end core-logic that supports both Intel Pentium 4/Pentium D and Intel Core 2 processors with 800MHz processor system bus. The chipset has single channel PC2-5300 (667MHz) memory controller, built-in DirectX 7-compliant graphics core, external PCI Express x16 slot and so on. The SiS662 includes SiS966L I/O controller that supports Serial ATA-II, PCI Express, USB, Ethernet and other essential technologies.
Previously Intel used ATI Radeon Xpress 200 chipset in its Intel Desktop Board D101GGC. It is noticeable that while ATI’s core-logic did not support DDR2 memory or Serial ATA II, it still had dual-channel DDR memory controller that could provide up to 6.4GB/s bandwidth (whereas SiS’ single-channel DDR2 only provided 5.3GB/s peak bandwidth) and DirectX 9-compliant graphics engine, which is crucial for the upcoming Windows Vista.
While Intel decided back in 2005 to shift from entry-level low-margin core-logic products, it still sells its affordable microprocessors to customers, which requires the company to take care of appropriate infrastructure, which means that the company may continue to push third-party chipsets in future.