Via Technologies Inc. next year will introduce a double-data-rate (DDR) chipset to support Intel Corp.'s next generation Willamette processor, a Via official told the Platform 2000 conference today in San Jose, Calif.
Eric Chang, director of product marketing, removed all doubt over whether the Taiwan-based independent would develop a DDR chipset for Willamette, which so far uses only the Intel Tehama logic controller supporting Direct Rambus memory. Intel so far has refused to license any other firm to make chipsets for its next-generation bus line architecture, called IA-32 for 32-bit and IA-64 for 64-bit processors.
However, Chang said that, with or without a license, Via was preparing to have its own Willamette chipset. Reminded that Via was brought to court by Intel for unveiling an unlicensed 133-MHz frontside-bus chipset for Intel processors, Chang's response was, "The future has a way of repeating itself."
Chang said that once Via had a DDR chipset supporting Willamette, it expected to expand to developing an IA-32 chipset with DDR for the projected next-generation Intel Foster processors for servers. He said Via would actually help Intel sell Willamette MPUs by offering a DDR chipset that Intel doesn't have -- the same way in which the Taiwanese company will be a benefit to Intel with its upcoming DDR chipset supporting Pentium III and Celeron processors.
Chang said the first Via DDR chipsets for current Intel processors will be introduced in September, with volume shipments in the fourth quarter. At about the same time, Via will also debut its DDR chipset for Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Athlon processors, he added.
Via is also expected to unveil DDR chipsets for the notebook market, supporting both Intel and AMD processors.