VIA announces VT8237 south bridge

— 2:59 AM on July 2, 2003

VIA has formally announced its VT8237 south bridge. What's new in the VT8237? Try an Ultra V-Link interconnect that yields up to 1066MB/s of bandwidth. Support for two Serial ATA drives is in, too, and an additional two Serial ATA devices can be connected through a special SATAlite interface. Since the VT8237 can power up to four Serial ATA devices, its software RAID supports RAID 0+1 arrays in addition to RAID 0 and RAID 1.

With Intel's ICH5R Serial ATA RAID support currently limited to two-drive RAID 0, the VT8237 definitely looks like the best south bridge for Serial ATA. Intel is supposed to add software RAID 1 support to the ICH5R this summer, but the hardware is still only capable of supporting two Serial ATA devices. Where the VT8237 really has an advantage, however, is against NVIDIA's MCP and MCP-T south bridge chips, which don't support any Serial ATA devices at all. When paired with the VT8237 south bridge, VIA's new KT600 chipset could become a formidable competitor for the nForce2 Ultra 400.

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