VIA meets resistance on P4 chipset

— 1:30 AM on August 2, 2001

EBNews is reporting that VIA is having trouble convincing the top-tier mobo manufacturers to sign on for their Pentium 4 chipset. (Credit Rand for the link.) The chipset should be the first P4 chipset capable of using DDR SDRAM, which is good, but VIA hasn't bothered getting a license from Intel, which has scared off some of the bigger names.

Intel, meanwhile, has said it's prepping the 845 chipset for launch soon, but it's a screwy deal. The 845 will be capable of supporting DDR SDRAM, but for a while, motherboards based on the 845 will use only PC133 memory—possibly because of an agreement with Rambus which folks have speculated forbids Intel from releasing a DDR chipset yet. But nobody knows for sure.

We know Intel is leaving Rambus out to dry unless geeky consumers everywhere make a mad rush to CompUSA to buy RDRAM-based systems. We know the Pentium 4's success is crucial for Intel's plans, since the PIII Tualatin isn't quite an Athlon-beater, and VIA's P4 chipset could help out there. We also suspect—or so the rumors about the Rambus agreement tell us—that Intel might be able to release a DDR chipset sooner if a competitor releases one first.

So is Intel really upset with Darth VIA's unlicensed chipset plans, or are they just feigning objections in order to better bury Rambus?

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