Could VIA withdraw from the chipset market?

Despite persistent rumors pointing to the contrary, VIA says it has no plans to close its chipset business, as DigiTimes reports. The rumors arose after word got out that the company's license to produce Intel chipsets was set to expire in March 2008. Intel was said to be using the license as a bargaining tool in an attempt to pressure VIA to withdraw from the x86 microprocessor market.

According to rumors overheard by DigiTimes, VIA "sent an internal email to employees describing the losses that the company had suffered from its chipset product lines for the past few years. The main purpose of the email was to announce the issue of future layoffs, according to the rumors." If it was indeed sent, such an e-mail could mean VIA would rather pull out of the chipset market rather than abandon x86 processors.

However, VIA tells DigiTimes it "has no knowledge of the rumors" and that it has sent no such e-mail to its employees. VIA adds that closing its System Platform division would be "impossible" because "both Intel and AMD are among its customers." As of May 16, VIA's official stance on the Intel licensing agreemnt was that negotiations were still taking place.

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