Acer Laboratories Inc (ALI) is sampling four new chip sets designed to support an emerging high-performance memory technology in desktop and notebook PCs powered by processors from both Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Intel, the Taipei-based company said Wednesday.
Scheduled to go into volume production in this year's fourth quarter, the chip sets will support a broad range of mobile and desktop PC processors, including AMD's Athlon and the lower-cost Duron series, as well as Intel's Celeron, Pentium II and Pentium III offerings, ALI, an affiliate of Taiwan's leading PC maker Acer, said in a statement. Chip sets are key components that allow the processor to communicate with the rest of the system.
Offering roughly twice the bandwidth of current SDRAM (synchronous dynamic random access) chips, the new memory type, called DDR (double data rate) SDRAM, is favoured by many memory makers as a lower-cost alternative to the proprietary Rambus memory interface technology that chip giant Intel has promoted as the future memory technology of choice.
While Intel has yet to announce plans for a chip set supporting DDR SDRAM, the company's Taiwan-based rivals, including ALI, Silicon Integrated Systems and Via Technologies, all have said they will support the speedy memory technology.
ALI said the Aladdin Pro 5 is designed for desktop PCs powered by Intel processors, while the Aladdin Pro 5M is its notebook equivalent. In addition to supporting both the current 100MHz/133MHz SDRAM standards, as well as front side bus speeds of 100MHz and 133MHz, the memory controller included in both chip set versions also supports DDR versions of SDRAM. Other features include support for up to 3GB of main memory, 4x AGP (accelerated graphics port), ATA/33/66/100 hard drive interfaces and Advanced Power Management.
Aladdin Pro 5 is priced at $US33 each, with the mobile Aladdin Pro 5M version carrying a price tag of $38, Acer Laboratories said. Both prices are for 20,000-unit quantities.
Aimed at systems powered by AMD's Athlon or Duron processors, the ALiMAGiK 1 and MobileMAGiK 1 chip sets offer feature sets similar to the Intel offerings, but are designed to communicate with the processor over a different front side bus than the one used by Intel. The mobile version also supports AMD's PowerNow power management technology.
In 20,000-unit quantities, the ALiMAGiK 1 and MobileMAGiK 1 chip sets are priced at $31 and $36 each, respectively, ALI said.