VIA is said to be preparing new chipsets for this fall featuring the following specifications: 1066MHz FSB support for Pentium 4 chips, support for dual-channel DDR2 RAM at 667MHz and dual PCI Express slots for graphics cards.
Dual PCI Expres slots are required for NVIDIA's SLI, which allows to install a pair of GeForce 6800 or GeForce 6600 GT graphics cards. SLI is a technology that enables two NVIDIA cards to operate in a single workstation or PC deliering higher graphics horsepower.
VIA's new chipsets include the VIA PT894 and VIA PT894 PRO chipsets. Both are ment for the Intel Pentium 4 or Celeron platform with 800MHz or 1066MHz FSB, dual-channel memory support for DDR or DDR2 memory running at 400MHz and 667MHz respectively. The difference betwween the two chipsets is that the Pro version features two PCI Express slots for graphics cards.
The company will also offer dual PCI Express for the AMD platform with the K8T890 PRO that will also feature a 1000MHz HyperTransport bus for the AMD Athlon 64, Sempron and Opteron processors. For mainstream AMD-based computers VIA plans the K8T890 and the K8M890 which sport single PCI express slots and integrated graphics core (only the K8M890.
The PT894 chipsets will be sampled in September and will be produced in volume in Q4 of this year. The K8T890 and K8M890 are beeing sampled now and will be ready for mass production also in Q4 2004. The K8T890 PRO is sampling now, and will be ready for mass production in September.
VIA reiterated plans to make a platform that sports both PCI Express x16 and AGP 8x slots.
“We are continuing engineering work on the AGP/PCI Express implementation and will be integrating this feature in future products in both the PT890 Series and K8T890 Series so that we can provide our customers with a complete family of solutions for different segments rather than a single “one-size-fits-all” PT890 and K8T890 product,” Richard Brown of VIA told X-bit labs.