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ATI Technologies announced the company has reached agreement with Intel Corporation for the Pentium M processor bus license. This gives ATI the necessary rights to build integrated chipsets for PC platforms based on the Pentium M processors. Additional details of the agreement were not disclosed.

As far as I know, Intel Pentium M processor utilises the same 400MHz Quad Pumped Bus as used for the Pentium 4 platforms. ATI Technologies got the license on the bus in early 2001 after signing cross-license agreement with Intel, so, at the moment I do not quite understand why additional agreement reached today was necessary. Maybe because Quad Pumped Bus of the Pentium M processor is not the same as used with the Pentium 4 chips? I recall that the Pentium M aka Banias CPUs support a feature called Power Optimised Processor Bus that lowers power-consumption of the platform by automatically bringing down the voltage and optimising the buffers’ execution. There are no confirmations that this peculiarity requires support from chipset or any special signals multiplexed into the protocol of a system bus, but if it does, this is probably the main and only difference between the buses of the Pentium 4 and Pentium M chips. Of course, I may be mistaken and Intel simply wants to charge its partners for every new incarnation of the Quad Pumped Bus; for instance, last year it was rumoured that SiS had to pay extra fees for the 533MHz QPB support by its chipsets in addition to the original 400MHz option.

The first platform core-logic for mobile computers based on the Pentium M processors was announced by ATI last week. The MOBILITY RADEON 7000 IGP supports 400 and 533MHz Quad Pumped Bus, PC1600, PC2100 and PC2700 DDR SDRAM memory and incorporates RADEON 7000-like graphics core.


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