Via Technologies, a struggling chipset and microprocessor developer, reportedly merged its central processing units (CPUs) and chipsets divisions late last year, which may be an indicator that the firm plans to refocus its chipsets design teams on its own platforms and processors, essentially withdrawing from mainstream core-logic market.
The rumours about Via’s withdrawal from the market of mainstream chipsets have been floating around for about a year now after it Via failed to ink a new license agreement with Intel Corp. under which it could develop and sell chipsets for new microprocessors by the chip giant. Under the terms of the license agreement signed in 2003, Via had rights to develop and sell chipsets for Intel’s latest processors till April, 2007; the company did not have rights to release any new Intel-compatible chipsets starting from that time and sell the existing inventory till April, 2008.
The market of Intel-compatible chipsets still represents a huge market opportunity for companies like Nvidia, SiS or Via, therefore, it is dramatically important to compete in this high-volume market segment. Obviously, it is also crucial to sell those chipsets with profit. If Via fails to achieve one of the goals, its chipset business becomes a burden for the company.
According to a news-story by Apple Daily news-paper (which article was partly translated by DigiTimes web-site), Via’s former chipset division “will mainly focus on supporting the company’s own-brand CPU platforms and will slowly phase out of the third-party chipset market”. Via will continue to negotiate with Intel and “support” AMD platforms, the news-story claims.
Via Technologies did not comment on the news-story.