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Via launches faster Pentium 4 chipset

Via Technologies upgrades the chipset in the face of a continuing dispute with Intel over the product's legality.

By Matthew Broersma

Via Technologies announced a faster version of its chipset for Intel Pentium 4 processors on Tuesday, in the face of a continuing dispute with Intel over the product's legality.

The chipset is an upgrade to Via's Apollo P4X266, called the P4X266A. It boosts access speeds for memory and can be combined with other, faster components.

A chipset links a PC's processor with other components such as memory.

Via and Intel have filed lawsuits against each other in several countries, centering on whether Via is legally allowed to make a Pentium 4 chipset. Taiwan-based Via is the second-largest chipset maker after Intel, and the two have had a love-hate relationship for several years, alternately suing each other and supporting the market for one another's products.

Earlier this week, Via representatives said the company had secured retail distribution for unbranded motherboards using the P4 chipset.

The P4X266 series supports double data rate (DDR) dynamic random access memory (DRAM), which is faster than standard SDRAM but not as expensive as high-end Rambus memory. Intel's chipsets support only SDRAM and Rambus memory.

Staff writer Matthew Broersma reported from London.