Intel introduces new chip set for Pentium 4

Intel Corp. announced Monday the launch of the first version of its Intel 845 chip set for Pentium 4 processor-based PCs.

The 845 chip set broadens the market reach of the Pentium 4 into mainstream consumer and corporate market segments by offering support for high-speed memory architectures other than RDRAM (Rambus Dynamic RAM).

The version released Monday supports SDRAM (Synchronous Dynamic RAM).

Another version of the 845, expected to hit the market in January, will support DDR SDRAM (Double Data Rate Synchronous DRAM). That version of the chip set could help Intel fight back against such products as Via Technologies Inc.’s recently released P4X266 DDR SDRAM chip set.

The Intel 845 consists of two controller hubs connected to each other through Intel’s high-bandwidth hub architecture. The 82845 memory controller hub (MCH) supports a 400 MHz system bus, giving a high-bandwidth connection between the Pentium 4 processor and the rest of the platform.

This provides three times the system bandwidth over platforms based on Pentium III processors, said Intel in its statement.

The MCH also includes wider data paths, a write cache and flexible memory refresh technology, to allow high PC133 SDRAM performance, the company said.

A 1.5V AGP4x interface gives 1G bps of graphics bandwidth.

The Intel 850 platform will continue to provide the maximum Pentium 4 processor performance, but the 845 will support the advanced end-user mainstream market, said Intel in a statement.

Both Intel and Via have begun lawsuits against each other in the past week. On Sept. 7, Intel filed a long-threatened claim in the U.S. District Court of Delaware claiming five patent infringements by Via.

On Monday, Via retaliated by filing suit against Intel in Taiwan, alleging patent infringement, fair trade law violations and destruction of Via property. Via says it plans to file suit in the U.S. later on Monday.

Intel also launched an application accelerator software package today, designed to increased storage subsystem performance and stability. It improves system performance by delivering faster hard disk I/O transfer rates and faster O/S load time, making boot times faster.

Intel, in Santa Clara, Calif., can be reached at