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VIA Brings Fresh Approach to PCI Express with the New PT Series Chipsets for the Intel® Pentium® 4 Processor Platform

System integrators and end-users to benefit from new generation of motherboards featuring unique PCI Express and AGP Graphics support and flexible memory controller technologies

Taipei, Taiwan, 31 January 2005 - VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions today announced the VIA PT Series of chipsets for the Intel® Pentium® 4 platform, providing a smooth transition for motherboard manufacturers and their customers to new technologies such as PCI Express and DDR2 memory. The new chipsets, which include the VIA PT880 Pro and PT894 chipsets, targeted at the performance mainstream market, and the PT894 Pro, a solution optimized for the workstation and power user segments, all support the latest Intel® Pentium® 4 and Celeron™ processors up to 1066MHz FSB.

For the first time, VIA provides the considerable benefit of being able to use PCI Express and AGP Graphics cards on the same motherboard, thanks to the unique VIA Universal Graphics Interface (UGI) featured in the VIA PT880 Pro chipset. For users requiring powerful multitasking capabilities, enhanced multi-display support is provided through the advanced VIA DualGFX Express technology, which enables connection up to 4 monitors through dual graphics cards. VIA DualGFX Express support is offered by the VIA PT894 Pro chipset, connecting to dual PCI Express graphics cards, and the VIA PT880 Pro chipset, connecting to a PCI Express and AGP graphics card simultaneously.

Furthermore, all PT Series chipsets offer the option of using either DDR or DDR2 system memory on the same motherboard through VIA StepUp Technology. With support for DDR memory up to 400MHz, and DDR2 memory at up to 667MHz, VIA StepUp Technology provides end-users and system integrators the flexibility to use whatever memory standard suits their requirements.

"Based on feedback from our customers, there is strong demand for a chipset architecture that provides the bridge between new technologies such as PCI Express, DDR2 and LGA775 processors, and established technologies like DDR and AGP graphics,” commented Richard Brown, Associate Vice President of Marketing, VIA Technologies Inc. “While other PCI Express chipset solutions are not able to offer this, largely ignoring the needs of many mainstream users, the new VIA PT Series chipsets offer a uniquely flexible platform that ensures smooth transition and, ultimately, faster adoption of PCI Express and DDR2 technologies.”

PT Series chipset North Bridges can be combined with either the acclaimed VIA VT8237R South Bridge, or the forthcoming VIA VT8251 South Bridge. As the world’s most advanced I/O and storage technology interface for PCs, the VT8251 South Bridge features a host of cutting edge features including SATA II, RAID 5 and High Definition Audio™.

VIA’s unique architecture also allows motherboard manufacturers to utilize more affordable 4-layer PCBs, as opposed to more expensive 6-layer PCBs, without compromising on system performance or stability. By contrast, market research shows that the significant majority of current and forthcoming motherboards based on competitors’ chipsets require 6-layer PCBs in order to work at a stable level, thereby significantly increasing the platform cost.

About the VIA PT880 Pro Chipset
The VIA PT880 Pro chipset provides the perfect stepping stone solution during transition to PCI Express and DDR2 for system integrators and enthusiasts. The VIA PT880 Pro chipset features the unique VIA Universal Graphics Interface (UGI) to allow support for both PCI Express and AGP graphics on the same motherboard, allowing system integrators and users the ability to upgrade their platform and continue using AGP graphics, or migrate to PCI Express graphics at a time that suits them.

The PT880 Pro chipset is world’s only chipset to feature a true AGP graphics controller in combination with PCI Express graphics, ensuring all graphics cards can reach their full performance potential. Furthermore, users can also benefit form VIA DualGFX technology by using both AGP and PCI Express graphics cards at the same time, providing enhanced multi-display support through the ability to connect up to 4 displays. Further information on the VIA PT880 Pro chipset may be found at: www.via.com.tw/en/products/chipsets/p4-series/pt880pro/

About the VIA PT894 Chipset
Targeted at the Performance Mainstream Market, the VIA PT894 chipset features in a new generation of motherboards offering a cost effective alternative to highly priced i915 chipset based motherboards supposedly targeted at the mainstream. By enabling advanced PCI Express technology, as well as support for 1066MHz processors and high-speed DDR2 memory, on motherboards priced within the accepted price range for the mainstream market, the VIA PT894 chipset will help speed up the adoption of PCI Express graphics cards and peripherals, as well as DDR2 memory.

Furthermore, by supporting two PCI Express x1 connections directly to the chipset’s North Bridge, the latest PCI Express peripheral devices such as HDTV Tuner Cards, as well as Gigabit Ethernet, SCSI and RAID controllers, are guaranteed high-speed connections with reduced latency and bottlenecks. Further information on the VIA PT894 chipset may be found at: www.via.com.tw/en/products/chipsets/p4-series/pt894/

About the VIA PT894 Pro Chipset
By harnessing VIA DualGFX Express technology, motherboards based on the VIA PT894 Pro chipset can support dual PCI Express graphics cards. VIA Dual GFX Express enables enhanced multitasking through support for up to four monitors, without compromising system performance. In the past to connect to any more than two monitors required use of an AGP graphics card and a standard PCI Graphics card, or upgrading to a very expensive Pro workstation graphics card.

VIA DualGFX Express, the only dual graphics card interface to offer a total of twenty PCI Express lanes of graphics bandwidth, makes multi-display platforms easier and more affordable for wider range of users beyond just workstation environments. Other areas that can benefit from VIA DualGFX Express and multi-display platforms include digital video and audio editing, gaming and financial market applications. Further information on the VIA PT894 Pro chispet may be found at: www.via.com.tw/en/products/chipsets/p4-series/pt894pro/

Note to reporters, editors and writers: VIA is written in ALL CAPS.

All product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.


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