updated 01:40 pm EDT, Mon August 11, 2008
VIA Quits Mainboard Chips
VIA has formally quit the business of manufacturing chipsets for third parties, the company tells Custom PC. The semiconductor company has decided against continuing to make chipsets to support AMD and Intel processors and will instead focus on its own processors and their accompanying platforms, such as Pico-ITX (shown) or full reference platforms like the OpenBook. The move is characterized as the end of a long shift away from building for AMD and Intel as they produce more of their work in-house.
"One of the main reasons we originally moved into the x86 processor business was because we believed that ultimately the third party chipset market would disappear, and we would need to have the capability to provide a complete platform," says company marketing VP Richard Brown. "That has indeed come to pass."
The public end to developing third-party chipsets puts VIA in greater competition with rivals and particularly sets it against Intel, whose Atom lineup is in competition with VIA's C7-M for netbooks and other very low-cost, low-power systems. The Acer Aspire one, ASUS Eee PC and most others rely on Atom, though the C7-M is currently the only choice for HP's Mini-Note.
VIA's revelation also puts it out of likely contention for a rumored new Apple platform that has been rumored to include NVIDIA and other chipset makers as candidates to replace Intel's reference designs.