SiS intros PCI Express chipsets for Intel, AMD

SiS just went live with twin press releases announcing the availability of its PCI Express core logic chipsets for the Athlon 64 and Pentium 4, the SiS 756 and 656, respectively. Both north bridges support the PCI-E X16 interface for graphics. The Pentium 4 north bridge has support for dual channels of DDR2 memory up to 667MHz on an 800MHz bus, while the Athlon 64 version, which has no memory controller of its own, will support 1GHz HyperTransport speeds.

The new 965 south bridge can accommodate a pair of PCI-E X1 expansion cards, Gigabit Ethernet, 7.1 audio (via AC97), and four SATA drives with RAID levels 0, 1, and 0+1. SiS's new design retains the proprietary MuTIOL link between north and south bridge chips, rather than replacing this link with some adaptation of PCI Express. SiS separately announced the 163 and 163U wireless LAN chips with 802.11g support, but there's no mention of WLAN capability in the 965 south bridge.

The company says vendor samples of both the 656 and 756 are available now, with 656-based motherboards due to hit the market in May. No word yet on the timing of 756-based boards, so they must be a bit behind the P4 version.

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