At the recent Platform Conference, AMD displayed an early version of a Tyan motherboard bearing room for two Socket A processors. Yes, it was a board with AMD's 760MP chipset. At this time, VIA does not have an equivalent chipset in the works. AMD is rolling out their 760MP in a very limited fashion, starting with only Tyan, sometime in mid-2001. VIA is going to wait for AMD to prove themselves before committing to a MP Athlon chipset.Damn. I wonder who Tyan had to sleep with to get that kind of exclusive arrangement. With no Via offering to start it looks like things won't be cheap. In any case, this sounds more like something Intel would do - I thought AMD was supposed to be wearing the white hat.
Unlike the MP Pentium chipsets VIA makes, making an AMD MP chipset is a bit more difficult. The EV6 bus is much quicker than Intel's P6 bus, but it is also point-to-point, meaning AMD's bus can only connect two components, the processor and the northbridge, not two processors and the northbridge like Intel's shared bus can. So in order to make an MP Athlon chipset, AMD had to put two EV6 busses. This increases the chipset die size and pin count, which thereby increases the chipset's cost. AMD has a shared bus architecture relying on LDT planned for their K8 series processors.