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VIA Announces K8T890, World’s First PCI Express Chipset for the AMD Athlon™ Processor

VIA K8T890 Series chipsets open up the AMD64 processor platform to PCI Express, providing the bandwidth needed for today’s most demanding applications and the headroom needed for future growth

Taipei, Taiwan, 24 September 2004, – VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, today announced the VIA K8T890 chipset, enabling advanced PCI Express connectivity on motherboards for the latest AMD Athlon™ 64, AMD Opteron™, and AMD Sempron™ processors.

The VIA K8T890 chipset is designed to fully accommodate the increased multimedia demands being placed on the PC through applications such as high definition video creation, multistreaming audio and the latest 3D game engines that require ever-increasing levels of system bandwidth. Featuring the unique VIA Flex Express Architecture, the VIA K8T890 chipset provides support for the latest high performance PCI Express x16 graphics cards, benefiting from a blistering 4GB/s of bandwidth, both upstream and downstream.

The K8T890 chipset also supports up to four PCI Express x1 connections, each offering 250MB/s bandwidth per direction to a wide range of high bandwidth peripheral devices – approximately double the maximum theoretical bandwidth provided by existing PCI 2.2 peripheral connections. Among the peripheral devices most likely to benefit from the increased bandwidth will be Gigabit Ethernet connections and bandwidth hungry HDTV tuner cards, which will be able to perform to their full potential without the constraints of limited bus bandwidth.

‘With the arrival of the VIA K8T890 Series chipsets, VIA continues its strong leadership on the AMD platform, delivering the features, performance, and stability that our customers have come to expect,’ commented Wenchi Chen, CEO VIA Technologies Inc. ‘By enabling PCI Express we believe that all the pieces are in place on the AMD64 processor platform, meaning all users can now upgrade to a 64-bit AMD processor, safe in the knowledge they have a future proof platform.’

‘As one of our premier partners, we are very pleased to see VIA bring PCI Express support to the AMD64 platform,’ commented Marty Seyer, corporate vice president and general manager of AMD’s Microprocessor Business Unit. ‘Combining the phenomenal bandwidth of PCI Express connectivity with HyperTransport™ technology as well as the latest high-performance graphics cards and peripheral devices, customers can continue to unleash the full performance potential of AMD64 technology.’

About VIA Flex Express Architecture 

The VIA Flex Express Architecture has been designed to allow flexible implementations of VIA core-logic chipsets supporting PCI Express. Multiple device configurations can be implemented, with support for up to five PCI Express devices directly into the chipset North Bridge and a total of 20 PCI Express lanes for a combined bandwidth of 5GB/s.

With today’s PC users increasingly using multiple HDDs, optical drives and USB/1394 devices, heavier data loads are being placed on the chipset’s South Bridge, the ability to avoid bottlenecks between the chipset’s North and South Bridge is crucial to maintaining a consistent level of system performance. The VIA Flex Express architecture meets this challenge by providing PCI Express x1 connections directly routed through the chipset’s North Bridge, thereby avoiding potential data bottlenecks in the chipset’s North to South Bridge link and reducing latency.

About the VIA K8T890 Chipset

Designed to support a complete range of AMD Athlon 64, AMD Athlon 64 FX and AMD Opteron as well as 754- and 939-pin versions of AMD Sempron processors, the VIA K8T890 delivers high performance, comprehensive features, and rock solid stability. The K8T890 chipset includes support for the latest PCI Express x16 graphics cards, and four PCI Express x1 connections to high speed PCI Express peripherals.

The VIA K8T890 chipset also features asynchronous bus architecture, providing improved system optimization options to enable power users to squeeze the very most out of their systems.

With a high bandwidth Ultra V-link bus, the K8T890 allows communication between the North and South bridges at a blazing 1GB/s, reducing the likelihood in any I/O bandwidth bottlenecks. When combined with the market-leading VIA VT8237 South Bridge and a broad array of VIA companion chips, the VIA K8T890 chipset provides the most comprehensive range of storage, multimedia and connectivity features available for the AMD64 processor platform today, including native Serial ATA and V-RAID, 6-channel or 8-channel VIA Vinyl audio, USB2.0, and 1394.

The VIA K8T890 is part of VIA’s acclaimed 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.

For further information about the VIA K8T890 chipset please visit the VIA website at:

About VIA Technologies, Inc.

VIA Technologies, Inc. (TSE 2388) is the foremost fabless supplier of market-leading core logic chipsets, low power x86 processors, advanced connectivity, multimedia, networking and storage silicon, and complete platform solutions that are driving system innovation in the PC and embedded markets. Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, VIA’s global network links the high tech centers of the US, Europe and Asia, and its customer base includes the world’s top OEMs, motherboard vendors and system integrators.