Serial ATA hits the south bridge

DigiTimes has news of SiS and VIA's upcoming south bridge Serial ATA support:
Like Intel, VIA will offer support by incorporating the specification into its new VT8237 south bridge chip, which will be officially launched at the end of February. Intel’s SATA-enabled ICH5 south bridge chips are scheduled to hit the market with the company’s Springdale products.

SiS is planning to first introduce a SATA controller chip, code-named 180, and then release its SATA-supporting SiS964 south bridge chip in the second quarter. SiS had a technical version of the 180 chip ready earlier this month. Volume production is expected to begin in March.

South bridge support for Serial ATA drives should help promote the new hard drive standard, but the drives themselves are still rare. I'm only seeing a couple of Seagate's Barracuda Serial ATA drives on Pricewatch right now, and major retailers like Newegg don't have the drives listed yet.

At least Seagate has a few retailers selling drives. There's no telling how long it will take other hard drive manufacturers to offer Serial ATA drives, and while that may be good for Seagate's sales in the short run, I'd like to see a few more options out there from the likes of Maxtor and Western Digital.

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