QuoteIntel has four new desktop chipsets to show off from this year's Computex trade show in Taiwan. The G45 and the G43 focus on HD video playback by way of a new Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500HD integrated graphics chip. The P45 brings support for faster memory and is the first mainstream Intel-made chipset with two graphics card slots. A scaled-down P43 chipset rounds out the new 4 Series. All of the chipsets use Intel's familiar LGA 775 processor interface, which means support for Intel's Core 2 Duo and Core 2 Quad desktop CPUs. Intel has also added a 1,333MHz front side bus to each chipset, as well as support for DDR3 RAM, as well as DDR2 or DDR3 RAM at speeds up to 1,333MHz.
QuoteThe first CPUs to be used with the Grantsdale chipset will be 3.6GHz Pentium 4 processors on a Prescott 90nm core. These CPUs will be released together with the Grantsdale chipset family, featuring 1MB L2 cache, Hyper-Threading Technology and 800MHz FSB (front-side bus).
QuoteDespite its plan to boost demand by cutting prices, Intel will only cut prices by US$1-2 on June 29, suggesting little pricing pressure in the current market. However, motherboard manufacturers believe that the chip giant may announce larger price cuts by the end of the third quarter if Taiwanese chipset designers introduce 800MHz FSB (front-side bus), dual-channel DDR400 products on time in that quarter and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) launches its K8-core Athlon 64 processors in September as scheduled.
QuoteAfter the release of its new 865 series (Springdale) chipsets on May 21, which will adopt dual-channel DDR400, Intel will move to the DDRII platform for its next-generation Grantsdale chipsets. But following its Granite Peak program, which ensures transition stability for six quarters, Intel will not introduce DDRII-supporting products such as the Grantsdale chipsets until the second quarter of 2004. However, as DDR400 has only begun entering the market mainstream, module makers said that might still be too early for Intel to adopt DDRII.
QuoteWhile VIA and SiS are scheduled to ship new 800MHz FSB (front-side bus)-based chipsets, their prospects for May are clouded by the low-season effect and the potential impact from the SARS epidemic. Some motherboard makers are said to be increasing inventories for fear that the SARS epidemic may worsen and affect supply. However, manufacturers with a high proportion of sales in China have been more cautious about doing so, as sales to the clone market there have been weakened by SARS, industry observers noted.
QuoteVIA Technologies, Silicon Integrated Systems (SiS) and Nvidia all plan to introduce chipsets supporting the Barton-core, 400MHz FSB Athlon XP processors. VIA will add a new KT600 chipset, while SiS is expected to join the competition with its SiS748. Nvidia will launch an updated product based on its nForce2, said Drew Henry, company senior director of platform product management, in an earlier phone interview with DigiTimes.
QuoteOn April 17, Silicon Integrated Systems (SiS) announced that it has already lined up over 13 motherboard and notebook clients for its 800MHz FSB (front-side bus) Pentium 4 SiS648FX chipset, scheduled to begin volume production by the end of April. It is also planning to later introduce a series of discrete and integrated chipsets – the SiS660FX, SiS655FX and SiS661FX. VIA Technologies will be comparatively slower to reach volume production, despite being the first to obtain technology licensing for the 800MHz FSB (front-side bus) standard. Though VIA’s first 800MHz FSB-supporting chipset, the PT400, is only entering sampling now, the company is expected to be ready for the high season in the second half.
QuoteBut the 875P will also be known for what it does not include. The chipset is Intel's first offering in about six months for high-end PCs that does not include Rambus RDRAM. Instead, the 875P includes dual-channel support for 400MHz double data rate SDRAM, or DDR400.
QuoteHolding licenses on 400MHz and 533MHz FSB (front-side bus) standards, which VIA failed to obtain from Intel earlier, SiS has enjoyed rising P4 chipset shipments the past few quarters. VIA, on the other hand, has seen its sales and market share hampered by its licensing dispute with the chip giant.
QuoteNvidia is planning to shortly introduce a new-generation core logic chipset to support upcoming 400MHz FSB (front-side bus) Barton-core Athlon XP processors from Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), said Drew Henry, Nvidias senior director of platform product management, in a telephone interview. He gave no details on the products name and design, however, saying only that Nvidia would maintain its lead in product specifications. Currently, Nvidias nForce2 is the only chipset supporting DDR400 standard, dual-channel memory architecture and a 400MHz FSB, Henry said. Although rival VIA Technologies is said to claim that its new KT400A would be able to deliver performance greatly closer to the nForce2 through single-channel memory architecture, Henry noted that the nForce2 still leads in performance, as it can offer higher speed support for standards like USB 2.0 and AGP 8x graphics technologies.