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More on NVIDIA’s Crush

Ronald Hanaki
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RoloTECH and Axion Technologies have a bit more on NVIDIA’s Crush chipset, this time in English. This looks to be for real. Unlike the first date with the Slot A processors, the Athlon / Duron + NVIDIA courtship shouldn’t get off to a rocky start.

Britney Spears admirer EasyRhino has made a good point about Micron’s coquettish flirtations with chipsets. Enough flash, show the cash. The one caveat this time around is that some time ago, Micron bought Rendition. While NVIDIA, ATi, and 3dfx made big splashes around WinHEC time and there was a Micron / Rendition representative running around, there hasn’t been much buzz surrounding Rendition. With NVIDIA’s foray into the chipset market and 3dfx continuing to struggle, it does make sense to think that Micron bought Rendition with an eye toward getting into the integrated chipset market. No? Well, this ElectronicNews story paints a pessimistic portrait of AMD.

Separately, an AMD spokesman said the long-delayed VIA Technologies Inc. chipsets that support AMD’s Duron processor will go into volume production by the end of the year. The spokesman said he expects Duron-powered systems to arrive only by the first quarter of 2001. This follows AMD’s inability during the third quarter to ramp the Duron because of the delay of a unified memory architecture (UMA) chipset.

AMD squandered an opportunity in the value segment because of logistical problems with the launch of Duron. After missing the back-to-school season, Duron could not ramp as expected because VIA was late in delivering UMA chipsets. The addition of the UMA chipsets reduces the costs of PCs, and OEMs will not ship systems without them.

While the Duron effectively blurs the line between value and performance, not having an integrated chipset has prevented OEMs from wholeheartedly embracing it. Say what you will about analysts, but there is a real opportunity here for NVIDIA, Micron, or even 3dfx if they ever get their act together.

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