Over the last several weeks, UMC has taken larger and larger shares in SIS, which makes chipsets for AMD and Intel motherboards. Earlier this week, the current head of SIS was replaced by a UMC placeman.Last year, SiS owned 20% of the Pentium 4 chipset market. If they don't get a new Pentium 4 technology license, a large part of the Pentium 4 chipset pie may be up for grabs and could fall into the laps of ATI and VIA. ATI apparently has several years left in its Pentium 4 technology license, and should debut a full line of chipsets this year. VIA, on the other hand, insists that it doesn't need a license to produce Pentium 4 chipsets.
UMC, the second biggest foundry, or fabricator of semiconductor chips, makes semiconductors for AMD, Intel's chief rival in the X86 business.
Given ATI and VIA's chipset plans, it seems unlikely that denying SiS a new Pentium 4 technology license would completely kill Pentium 4 chipset competition. I'd like to see SiS hang around in the Pentium 4 chipset market, but given the growing ties with UMC, I can understand Intel's reluctance. Would Intel be shooting itself in the foot by denying SiS a new Pentium 4 chipset technology license?