Details emerge on ATI's upcoming chipsets
Xbit Labs has some details on chipsets we'll be seeing out of ATI next year. Of particular interest are the RS300 and RS380 north bridge chips, both of which feature integrated graphics based on the Radeon 9000 core. The Xbit story doesn't have much detail on the RS380 for AMD's Athlon processors, but they do have a few interesting specs for the Pentium 4-compatible RS300. Here's the good stuff:
- Quad-pumped 800MHz front side bus
- Support for dual channel DDR333 and DDR400 memory
- AGP 8X and integrated RV250 graphics core
With specs like that, the RS300 should compete with Intel's upcoming Springdale processor, especially when the RS300 is paired with ATI's upcoming SB300C south bridge. The SB300C supports ATA/133, Serial ATA, 6-channel audio, 3Com 10/100 Ethernet, and USB 2.0.
The few details given on ATI's Athlon chipsets could indicate that ATI intends to focus its chipset efforts primarily on the Pentium 4 platform. For ATI, that's probably a wise decision. NVIDIA's nForce2 will be tough to topple, and if all goes well for Hammer, the Athlon won't have much of a future. ATI doesn't have to compete with NVIDIA when it comes to Pentium 4 chipsets, and the RV250 should be able to walk all over other integrated graphics solutions. It doesn't hurt that Intel sells a lot more Pentium 4s than AMD does Athlons, either. If ATI is looking to carve out a piece of the chipset business, they might as well set their sights on the biggest pie.