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South Bridge

» VIA VT8237

VIA PT894 - High-Performance Mainstream PCI Express Chipset Solution

This product is available fully ROHS-compliant.

Optimized for the latest Intel® Pentium® 4 processors, the VIA PT894 brings to market the highest specification PCI Express chipset to date, with support for the latest 1066MHz FSB processors, Hyper-Threading technology, PCI Express Graphics, and high-speed PCI Express peripheral devices.

The VIA PT894 also integrates VIA’s exclusive StepUp memory technology to provide support for both DDR and DDR2 memory standards on the same motherboard, allowing motherboard makers the option of implementing either standard depending on the demands of their target market at any given time.

Featuring a PCI Express x16 connection for up to 4GB/s of dedicated graphics bandwidth per direction, the VIA PT894 chipset works seamlessly with the latest PCI Express graphics cards. Two additional PCI Express x1 connections provide 250MB/s per direction bandwidth to PCI Express peripheral devices such as Gigabit Ethernet and HDTV tuner cards. Furthermore, by routing the PCI Express x1 connections directly through the North Bridge of the chipset, peripheral devices benefit from reduced latency and data bottlenecks.

The VIA PT894 features a high bandwidth Ultra V-Link bus to allow communication between the chipset’s North and South bridges at a blazing 1GB/s. When combined with solutions such as the market-leading VIA VT8237R Plus South Bridge and a broad array of VIA companion chips, the VIA PT894 provides a comprehensive range of storage, multimedia and connectivity features, including native Serial ATA and V-RAID, 6-channel or 8-channel VIA Vinyl Audio, VIA Velocity™ Gigabit Ethernet, USB2.0, and 1394.

The VIA PT894 chipset has received PCI-Express certification, having successfully completed the rigorous testing procedures of the PCI-SIG Compliance Workshop.


Features of VIA PT894

Feature
VIA PT894
North Bridge  
Processor Support Intel® Pentium® 4
Hyper Threading Support Yes
Front Side Bus 1066/800/533MHz
Memory Support VIA StepUp Technology for dual 64-bit channel memory with co-layout support
  » DDR2 667/533/400
  » DDR 400/33/266
Graphics Support PCI Express x16 graphics
PCI Express Peripherals 2 PCI Express x1 connections direct to chipset North Bridge
Bus Architecture Asynchronous
Max. Memory 4GB
South Bridge VIA VT8237R Plus
North/South Bridge Link Ultra V-Link (1066MB/sec)
Audio

VIA Vinyl™ 6-channel Audio (AC'97 integrated)

VIA Vinyl™ Gold 8-channel Audio (PCI companion controller)

Network

VIA Velocity Gigabit Ethernet companion controller

VIA integrated 10/100 Fast Ethernet

Modem MC'97
PCI Devices/Slots

6 slots

Dual PCI-X bus support through VIA VPX2 I/O expansion bridge

SATA

2 x SATA 150 devices

SATALite™ interface for two additional SATA devices 4 total)

V-RAID RAID 0, RAID 1, and RAID 0+1* & JBOD (SATA)
PATA ATA133 (up to 4 devices)
USB 8 ports
I/O Protocols I/O APIC / LPC Super I/0
Power Management ACPI/APM/PCI/PM

Benefits of VIA PT894

VIA StepUp Memory Support
The VIA PT894 integrates VIA’s StepUp memory technology for lightning fast access to system memory and optimum system performance. VIA’s StepUp memory technology enables support for DDR1 and DDR2 memory standards giving maximum flexibility.

Advanced PCI Express Peripheral Support
Offering connection of two high bandwidth PCI Express x1 peripheral devices directly through the North Bridge of the chipset, the VIA PT894 ensures low latency and wide memory access, as well as freeing up I/O bandwidth in the chipset’s South Bridge, which increasingly deals with the heavy bandwidth requirements of multiple HDDs, optical drives and USB/1394 devices.

Native Serial ATA/RAID Support
The VIA VT8237R Plus South Bridge features a native Serial ATA/RAID controller, providing direct support for two 150MB/s Serial ATA devices, and an additional two (for a total of four SATA devices) in combination with the SATAlite™ interface. The integrated V-RAID controller supports native RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 0+1 and JBOD, ensuring optimum data integrity and system performance, while the user-friendly V-RAID software interface enables easy disk array configuration and management.

VIA Vinyl Multichannel Audio Suite
Delivering rich, warm surround sound at resolutions as high as 24/96 through up to six or eight-channel outputs, the VIA Vinyl Audio and VIA Vinyl Gold Audio enable crisp, clear performance, representing the highest levels of audio quality in a mainstream integrated or onboard solution.

Ultra V-Link Bus
Delivering data throughput speeds of up to 1066 MB/s from the VIA VT8237R Plus South Bridge to the VIA PT894 North Bridge, the Ultra V-Link interface delivers the necessary bandwidth and low latency required by today's increasingly demanding multimedia applications.

VIA Modular Architecture Platform
The VIA PT894 chipset is part of VIA's unique Modular Architecture Platform (V-MAP), which minimizes design times and time-to-market for motherboard partners through a flexible, pin-compatible design approach for VIA core-logic solutions. Motherboard partners are able to cover multiple market segments with fewer design resources, and also benefit from a single unified driver base.

Unified VIA Hyperion 4in1 Drivers
VIA's unified approach to drivers has been established for eight generations of chipsets, allowing end users to benefit from seamless hardware and software compatibility.

* RAID Level 0+1 requires four Serial ATA drives; support for the two additional drives can only be implemented with two external Serial ATA ports enabled through a SATALite PHY.


Block Diagram

 


Resources

VIA P4 Series chipset comparison chart / Download .pdf version
VIA PT-Series press release
Catch the Flex Express!
VIA's implementation of PCI express. » Learn more ...
VIA PT894 image kit (hi-res) / VIA PT894 image kit (low-res)

Tech Support

If you should have problems or questions setting up or running your VIA product, we offer comprehensive technical support here and you can find the latest device drivers, as well as helpful forums to discuss and solve your problems.


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