Via Technologies Inc. will provide S3 Inc. with core logic technology in S3's upcoming integrated chipset, the second graphics supplier to partner with Via.
The agreement is an about-face of sorts for Via, whose executives originally said that S3 had been unable to time its development schedules to craft a chipset designed by both companies. Those problems have been resolved, according to Dean Hays, vice-president of marketing for Via's U.S. operations in Fremont, Calif.
For its part, S3 representatives have only said its chipset efforts would be in conjunction with "an industry leader."
In the second half of 1999, Santa Clara, Calif.-based S3 will sell the "SavageNB," the north bridge of a core logic chipset designed with Via.
Because S3's Savage4 graphics chip is currently being targeted at mid-range PCs, the chip will evolve into a low-end part by the end of 1999. For this reason, observers said, the Savage4 will likely form the heart of the SavageNB.
Meanwhile, S3 will launch the "GX4" as a high-end graphics chip in the first half of 1999, and an upgraded "GX4" version in the latter half of the year.
Via has also contributed core logic technology to its own MVP4, a desktop PC chipset incorporating the Blade3D core designed by Trident Microsystems Inc., Mountain View, Calif. Trident, meanwhile, sells its own version of the integrated chipset for the mobile market, which it has dubbed the CyberBlade i7.
"Our work with Trident will continue to focus on the notebook business, while we take a higher-performance approach with the UMA stuff we'll design for S3," Hays said, referring to a Unified Memory Architecture graphics chip that does not require dedicated DRAM for a frame buffer.