Mainboard Maker Discloses Intel’s, NVIDIA’s Future Plans

ABIT Shows Off Mainboard Roadmap

by Anton Shilov
06/28/2004 | 05:51 AM

ABIT, a maker of mainboards and graphics cards for PC enthusiasts, exposed its mainboard roadmap at a press-conference in Japan, PC Watch web-site reports. In addition to the intentions of the manufacturer itself, the roadmap outlines availability of certain products developed by chipsets designers, such as Intel Corp. and NVIDIA Corp..


ABIT to Enable 1066MHz PSB in Q4 2004

According to the published roadmaps, ABIT is perfectly ready to support LGA775 processors along with PCI Express x16 graphics cards in addition to other technologies recently presented by Intel with its new family of mainboards powered by i925X and i915P chipsets, such as AA8 and AG8. The company also has AS8 mainboard based on i865PE chipset with Socket T to support new processors at an affordable price-point.

ABIT's roadmap. Please click to enlarge

However, the company has an ultimate mainboard planned to release in the fourth quarter of the year – AA8 Fatal1ty powered by i925XE core-logic from Intel that sports 1066MHz Quad Pumped Bus. In the first quarter of next year ABIT is expected to release AA8-MAX mainboard based on the same chipset that will be positioned below the AA8 Fatal1ty.

Earlier it was assumed that Intel releases its i925XE chipset in the third quarter this year to support the Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor at 3.46GHz. ABIT typically releases its high-end Intel-based products right after the official announcement. It is not clear whether ABIT has changed its strategy or Intel has changed its plans and delayed the i925XE core-logic.

ABIT is also expected to release VIA PT880 and VIA PT890 mainboards in Q2 and Q3 this year.

The roadmaps suggest that ABIT is unlikely to launch i915G- and i915GV-based mainboards with integrated graphics cores until the fourth quarter of the year. Additionally, the company plans to manufacture ATI RS400-based platforms along with SiS651- and SiS661FX-powered mainboards in the same timeframe targeting mainstream and entry-level market segments.

Extreme Performance with 1066MHz PSB on the Way

As reported previously, Intel is going to unleash a yet another version of Pentium 4 Extreme Edition processor clocked at 3.46GHz with 1066MHz Quad Pumped Bus in the Q3 2004. The microprocessor is likely to contain 2MB of L3 cache and come in LGA775 packaging. The chip is not actually the new Prescott, but is likely to be based on the mature Gallatin core used in today’s Pentium 4 Extreme Edition products.

The first “non-Gallatin” processor with 1066MHz processor system bus that will also sport XD and AAC technologies is expected to be the Pentium 4 processors “Prescott” 3.73GHz produced using 90nm process technology with 2MB of L2 cache. Current Pentium 4 “Prescott” processors have 1MB of L2 cache, but still perform slower compared to Pentium 4 “Northwood” chips on the same frequency because of the deeper pipeline. 2MB of L2 and higher-speed bus may compensate deeper pipeline of the microprocessor. The product is expected to sport LGA775 packaging.

No nForce3 250 Listed, but CK8-04 On-Track

ABIT has no NVIDIA nForce3 250-based mainboards in the roadmaps showcased to Japanese press. Instead, the firm lists AX8 that is based on VIA K8T890 as well as AV8 powered by VIA K8T800 Pro to support PGA939 central processing units from Advanced Micro Devices in addition to PCI Express x16 bus.

ABIT's roadmap. Please click to enlarge

Apparently, ABIT is planning its AN8 Fatal1ty and AN8-MAX mainboards powered by NVIDIA’s code-named CK8-04 chipset for release in Q4 2004, indicating that the company is committed to NVIDIA’s chipsets.

For the integrated segment ABIT plans to release its KV81, KV80 and KV82 mainboards based on VIA K8M800 chipset with integrated graphics core for PGA754 processors.

Representatives for ABIT, Intel, NVIDIA and VIA did not comment on the report.