Print 15 comment(s) - last by Clauzii.. on Mar 15 at 10:44 PM

SiS's 770 chipset is expected to provide a low cost alternative to nForce 500 for the AMD platform
Silicon Integrated Systems used to share the AMD desktop landscape with VIA, is the company due to bounce back?

We recently had the opportunity to get an inside glimpse at SiS, the now undisputed second largest PC core logic provider in Taiwan.  With NVIDIA's recent acquisition to acquire ULi, many have hoped for an underdog in the relatively quiet core logic market. 

SiS claims that they will have DDR3 support on the 665 Northbridge by Q3'06, making it the first chipset capable of DDR3 support by our playbook.  Whether or not motherboard adopters actually incorporate DDR3 into production designs is another issue entirely.  However, given the fact that SiS has privately told us that the company will enter the DRAM market, it could be that SiS might have an ace up its sleeve.

Things for SiS are a little quieter on the AMD side, with the 770 chipset set to become the new flagship core logic design.  According to the SiS roadmap, all future AMD chipsets will feature integrated graphics -- the 770, 771 and 772 chipsets will feature the Mirage 3 graphic engine.  Mirage 3 isn't exactly the bleeding edge in desktop graphics, but it is enough to get a 1080p signal on a set top box.  Mobile versions of these chipsets will also appear before the end of the year.

Although all of SiS's new chipsets feature integrated graphics, the company is moving more and more towards VIA's model of chipset production; many chipsets with many functions, rather than hot universal core logics.  The company will announce the 307CP and 308CP chipsets later this year.  The 307CP and 308CP are copy protection processors capable of taking a digital video output signal and encrypting the channel for HDCP.  The 307CP will specifically encrypt up to 1080i for DVI-HDCP, the 308CP will encrypt up to 1080p for HDMI-HDCP. 

Furthermore, the company has roadmap plans for its 196 gigabit PHY chipset, its 186 SATA 3.0Gbps chipset and 163 802.11a/b/g wireless chipset. 

With ULi out of the picture and VIA on the fritz, SiS has some ambitious plans for 2006.

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The obvious reply to a SiS press release
By Googer on 3/12/2006 5:37:32 AM , Rating: 3
The hardware looks great and maybe solid, but if the drivers are not stable then it just won't matter how good the chips are.

RE: The obvious reply to a SiS press release
By Visual on 3/12/2006 7:18:51 AM , Rating: 2
have you even used nf4 boards? talk about unstable drivers... the built-in firewall is totally unusable and bluescreens with anything like a torrent app opening too many connections at once; the ide driver fiasco just yesterday destroyed my hdd, after a good period of no problems that had me convinced that nvidia had finally worked around their bugs. now i really miss my k7s5a days...

RE: The obvious reply to a SiS press release
By NerV04 on 3/12/2006 9:42:19 AM , Rating: 3
thier sata sucks just as badly too...
on another note...whats wrong with VIA?
i havent heard anything from them in a while so dont know what the "fritz" is about

By The Cheeba on 3/12/2006 2:25:29 PM , Rating: 3
i havent heard anything from them in a while

You said it yourself

RE: The obvious reply to a SiS press release
By butane317 on 3/12/2006 7:09:55 PM , Rating: 2
No kidding! I used to have a VIA board for my Athlon XP a few years go. It was completely stable. I even overclocked the hell out of it and it never crashed once. NVidia and all of them may have nice chipsets that support all the newest features, but VIA has always been a low-cost, stable solution.

By inthell on 3/14/2006 12:33:19 AM , Rating: 2
my old VIA board and my ATI card clashed like george bush at kanye west concert :) not sure exactly what the problem was but i ended up RMAing it and then selling it on ebay

RE: The obvious reply to a SiS press release
By Clauzii on 3/15/2006 10:44:10 PM , Rating: 2

By Clauzii on 3/15/2006 10:44:51 PM , Rating: 2
(to butane 317)

Is anything actually "wrong" with via's AMD lineup?
By tjr508 on 3/12/2006 1:43:15 PM , Rating: 2
My "old" via 754 setup was by far the most stable and problem free platform I have ever owned. I can't even count the problems that I have noticed with my NF4 (mostly SATA but others as well). I realize VIA has had some sales troubles lately but are these related to bad products or just bad advertising? It seems like the PC world is based largly on "hype" now so if a company isnt the first to rush to a technology, then they are often ignored. The VIA name carries no hype because they simply make products that just work.

My only problem with via is the 56kish download rate from their website and unless there is a serious problem with their new platform, I would love for my next chipset purchase to be a via.

By The Cheeba on 3/12/2006 2:28:10 PM , Rating: 2
VIA is a fine company. The problem is they haven't had anything new in so long that NVIDIA unquestionably owns the AMD market -- at least in the US. It seems like VIA has been refocusing on their CPU market, which is great cause I love the EPIA platform to death. Unfortunately, their days as a northbridge maker seem a little numbered unless they have something really really competitive to nforce5 for AM2 in the works...

By tjr508 on 3/12/2006 3:02:33 PM , Rating: 2
That is exactly what I figured. I wish people (including myself) would realize that from a chipset maker "no news is good news." I miss the K8T800 very much to the point where I would probably rather have that then my 939 NF4 setup (if they made a comparable vid card for it =).

By hans007 on 3/13/2006 4:58:07 AM , Rating: 2
well the make a k8t890 which is a pci-e chipset. it just isnt quite as fast as the nf4 ones.

By Zoomer on 3/14/2006 5:49:37 AM , Rating: 2
The few % points don't actually matter.

It's also a matter of avaliability. Check out the a64 boards, and count how many of them are from via.

Whats up with ATi's?
By Hokum on 3/13/2006 8:55:38 AM , Rating: 2
I'm happy with my RS482 and RD480 based systems...

By DJMiggy on 3/14/2006 5:07:00 PM , Rating: 2
VIA is a great company. I would say the only thing wrong with them and other chipset makers is they don't have SLI. That is the hot ticket right now. I have had many via motherboards and have had very few issues. I think even people who don't wish to have sli are getting the boards "Just in Case".

"This is about the Internet.  Everything on the Internet is encrypted. This is not a BlackBerry-only issue. If they can't deal with the Internet, they should shut it off." -- RIM co-CEO Michael Lazaridis
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