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The license agreement with Intel Corp. under which Via Technologies, a chipset designer from Taiwan, could develop and sell chipsets supporting x86 microprocessors from the world’s largest suppler expired in early April, however, the core-logic developer still have announced that it had inked another one, inspiring many rumours on the market concerning the deal or the lack of it.

Under the terms of the agreement signed in early April, 2003, Via Technologies received a four year license to design and sell chipsets that are compatible with the Intel microprocessor bus and sell those chipsets for a fifth year without infringing Intel’s patents. However, starting from April, 2007, Via has no rights to roll-out new chipsets supporting processors by Intel, unless a new licensing deal is inked.

Via’s competitor in Taiwan, Silicon Integrated Systems Corp., has recently signed an agreement with Intel, under which it can develop, manufacture and sell core-logic sets for Intel processors supporting 1333MHz processor system bus as well as quad-core central processing units (CPUs). But SiS has different licensing strategy than Nvidia Corp. and Via: SiS makes agreements concerning every new processor system bus (PSB) speed-bin, whereas Nvidia and Via prefer broad, multi-year patent cross-license agreements across multiple product lines and product generations along with the PSB license.

Given that the previous agreement with Intel has already expired and Via is quiet concerning a new one, some sources in Taiwan said that the company plans to withdraw from the chipsets market, whereas the other indicated that the agreement between Intel and Via had been signed, DigiTimes web-site reports. Via reportedly dismissed both claims as “rumours” and provide no further comments.

In addition to core-logic sets for Intel processors, Via sells chipsets for CPUs by AMD as well as its own microprocessors along with supporting core-logic products.


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