A new chipset from Silicon Integrated Systems Corp. (SiS) announced at CeBIT Wednesday supports a 400MHz front-side bus for Advanced Micro Devices Inc.'s (AMD's) Athlon XP processors, which appears to clear up questions about whether AMD would include that feature in the forthcoming Athlon XP 3200+ processor.
AMD had downplayed reports a few weeks ago that it had instructed its chipset manufacturers to include support for the bus, saying it was still evaluating its product decisions.
A faster front-side bus allows data to travel between the processor and the memory at higher rates, increasing overall performance. Analysts have said AMD was evaluating the faster bus as a way to remain competitive with Intel Corp.'s 800MHz front-side buses on upcoming Pentium 4 processors, before AMD launches the Athlon64 this September. The Athlon XP 3200+ is expected to be released around the middle of this year.
AMD did not respond to repeated requests for comment Wednesday.
The SiS748 chipset also features support for DDR400 (double data rate 400MHz) memory, a very fast memory standard that is gaining acceptance among high-end users, and AGP (accelerated graphics port) 8x technology.