Taipei -- Acer Labs Inc. (ALI) will sample its first single data rate SDRAM and DDR chipset supporting Intel Corp's Pentium 4 processor, starting in July. ALI President Chin Wu told EBN in an interview at Computex Monday that production of its chipset will launch in the fourth quarter.
He believes ALI's Pentium 4 chipset will be on the marked nearly at the same time as Intel's own projected Brookdale chipset, also supporting SDRAM initially and later DDR memory. Like Brookdale, the same ALI chipset silicon can support either SDRAM or DDR, Wu added.
The executive said ALI would have the ability to launch its Pentium 4 chipset with DDR capability right from the start. "However, we will wait on approval from Intel on the timing for introducing DDR," he claimed.
ALI was one of the first independent chipset vendors licensed last year by Intel to support Pentium 4. Intel itself has said it won't launch its Brookdale DDR version until Q1 '02. Computex motherboard makers, who are showing sample boards at their booths, speculated that Intel may move up its Brookdale DDR launch to later this year. ALI's Wu said only Intel can address those reports and he referred questions to the microprocessor firm.
In the meantime, Wu said ALI is shipping a DDR chipset already to support Advanced Micro Devices' Athlon processors that compete with the Pentium 4. ALI surprised many in the industry by being the first third-party vendor to introduce a DDR chipset, after its first silicon samples met all specification targets right from the start.
Wu said ALI hopes to achieve the same first silicon results with its Pentium 4 chipset tests this month.
The ALI president said his firm aims to expand in the mainstream and performance PC markets with DDR chipsets. He said ALI last year "was late to market with its value price points integrated graphics chipset" using the TNT graphics core from Nvidia Corp. He said ALI has no plans to offer an integrated graphics chipset in the crowded field against Intel, Via Technologies, and SiS.
He noted Nvidia, ALI's former partner, has launched its own new high-end integrated graphics processor and North Bridge memory controller, called nForce, at Computex as previously reported. Wu said ALI had no plans to offer a similar chipset technology.