Via DDR2-ready chipset due in May

Via Technologies Inc. will announce in May a DDR2- and PCI Express-ready chipset, the PT890, Associate Vice President Richard Brown said Friday.

Via is already demonstrating the chipset on its stand at the Cebit trade fair in Hanover, Germany. The demonstration model is running with DDR400 but Via says it is ready for DDR (double data rate) 2, and all subsequent chipsets will be so too. It is being shown with a 3.7GHz Intel Corp. Pentium 4 and a 800MHz FSB (frontside bus).

DDR2 is a new memory architecture that lets memory chips run faster without losing signal quality, and with lower power consumption. A technique called differential signalling doubles the number of signals a memory chip can process compared to standard DDR memory, and on-die termination means that the chip absorbs more of the signal noise.

PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) Express is a high speed bus technology that connects the microprocessor to any attached devices. It has a lower pin count than standard PCI, so that it takes up less room, and higher performance at 250M bps (bits per second) per port, which is almost twice that of current PCI slots.

Both DDR2 and PCI Express are going to be the hot technologies this year, Brown said, and all Via products will be compatible with both from now on.

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