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End of Intel-Pin-Compatible CPUs?

CmdrTaco posted about 11 years ago | from the and-then-there-was-one dept.

Intel 218

sonamchauhan writes ""Intel, Via bury the hatchet" proclaims this news.com article. The settlement reportedly allows Via to build Intel-pin-compatible CPUs for three years more, but Via must cease pin-compatibility after that." This settlement apparently closes out 27 existing lawsuits.

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fr1st ps0t #2 (5, Insightful)

usotsuki (530037) | about 11 years ago | (#5686177)


Well, pin compatibility isn't the issue I'd be concerned with, but opcode compatibility.


Re:fr1st ps0t #2 (3, Informative)

maan (21073) | about 11 years ago | (#5686211)

I agree that opcode compatibility is crucial (after all, that's what has allowed companies like AMD to strive, and in turn, brought down the prices of mainstream x86 processors). But if there isn't pin compatibility, then this means that you can't use one motherboard designed for Intel with a Via chip.

Now, it's true that this isn't the case anyway: you can't buy single Via processors anyway, and it has essentially always been the case that you have motherboards for AMD procs, and motherboards for Intel procs. But it's really too bad. Think of how convenient it is that you can take an IDE hard-drive and plug it in anywhere (even Macs nowadays!) Why can't you have simple "plug'n play" processors? Then you'd have real competition among all the companies...any processor on any mobo!


Re:fr1st ps0t #2 (5, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 11 years ago | (#5686267)

it has essentially always been the case that you have motherboards for AMD procs, and motherboards for Intel procs

This is not at all true. I personally have owned at least four different Super Socket 7 boards (one is in my posession now) which would run either a K6 series processor, or any Socket 7 Pentium processor. Some of them would also run various Cyrix processors. VIA bought Cyrix. Hence, VIA *does* have the rights to some processors which are pin-compatible with some intel processors.

Re:fr1st ps0t #2 (3, Interesting)

JUSTONEMORELATTE (584508) | about 11 years ago | (#5686275)

you can't buy single Via processors anyway

I think you're mistaken [tigerdirect.com]


Re:fr1st ps0t #2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686504)

I own a couple VIA C3 systems. You can buy the bare socket370 or just buy them soldered onto the motherboard with an EPIA series motherboard. (quite popular, only 170x170 mm square. AKA miniITX).


Re:fr1st ps0t #2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686619)

"The 667MHz VIA Cyrix III is the coolest processor on the market, delivering ultra-low power consumption due to its innovative design and advanc..."

"The 600MHz VIA C3 is the coolest processor on the market, delivering ultra low power consumption derived from its innovative design and advan..."

Is that even possible for two to be the coolest? And do they mean coolest as in 1337est, or coolest as in it runs the least hot?

Re:fr1st ps0t #2 (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 11 years ago | (#5686348)

i saw them just the other day in a store, and for pennies on the dollar to current P4 chips (lets see you find a brand new 1GHz pentium anything in an average retail store these days)

Re:fr1st ps0t #2 (1)

GigsVT (208848) | about 11 years ago | (#5686551)

yeah, but once you factor in that C3 1ghz is about the same speed as a PII in the 300Mhz range or so, it's not so great for speed. It is low power though.

Re:fr1st ps0t #2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686539)

.... so Intel should just "give it all away"? I say screw those companies. Opcode only. Make them do their own R&D or pay Intel handsomely so they can recoup their R&D costs. Intel would not mind if VIA would only pay for it so Intel could remain competitive.

As it is, VIA is just a bunch of theives with a second rate product.

I wouldn't want to spend millions of dollars to come up with a better car tire, then just give away the rubber formula? C'mon, lets put this in perspective eh?

but .. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686213)

that would mean, there won't be via chipsets for intel cpus in 3 years. simply because, the cpus won't (may not) fit in the boards anymore?

did i get that right?

umm (0, Informative)

rootofevil (188401) | about 11 years ago | (#5686181)

so what. who uses the c3 anyway?

Lindows pcs (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686216)

I believe the lindows pcs in wallmart uses the via c3 chips. Not exactly a fps gamers dream machine, but does make the machine very affordable. I think the desktops were about 200 dollars minus the monitor.

But, aside from the lower performing chip, it does it's job as a email/web browsing/messaging/word document editing/music playing home workstation.

ahahahahahah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686184)

yeah fist prost

If this is not the first post... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686185)

I will lay down in traffic on a heavily traveled interstate and pretend to be a hippy protestor.

As always, links to pictures will be posted.

Re:If this is not the first post... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686274)

where's the pictures you dirty hippy shit since YOU FAIL like the stinky hippy whore you are

First post? (-1, Offtopic)

linuxelf (123067) | about 11 years ago | (#5686186)

Can it be?


YOU FAIL IT! (624257) | about 11 years ago | (#5686234)

Hey man, the list of top FAILURES through history is through. Here it is (in reverse order)

5. Eazel
4. Saddam Hussein and the Ba'ath regime
3. The Sinclair C5
2. The Nazi quest to conquer the world
1. linuxelf and his attempt at first post!

Thats right, you are the biggest FAILURE in the history of mankind. Lower your head in shame.


I R0X0R! YU0 == T3H 5UCK! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686415)

Firstus postus, beeeeeotchii!
Happy troll Tuesday!

Bow down and worship my polytonal assonance!


fp (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686189)

first intel pin compatible post!

i can only hope... (4, Funny)

intermodal (534361) | about 11 years ago | (#5686192)

just as I was saying the other night that i wished VIA would make C3s that go in AMD-socket boards...

Re:i can only hope... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686220)

In SOVIET RUSSIA, the Internet logs onto You!

Elsewhere In SOVIET RUSSIA, News finds you! [msads.net]

Irrelevant (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686197)

Why do I have this feeling that Intel, like Microsoft, is going to become more and more irrelevant?

Re:Irrelevant (2, Interesting)

intermodal (534361) | about 11 years ago | (#5686223)

because you are correct. Pentium 4 is a lousy chip, the pentium 3 not much better. Pentium II was the last truly respectable chip I have seen coming out of Intel. AMDs may run a bit hot, but their performance IMO is superior. Transmeta should make motherboards for "build yer own" types who want them. VIA has increasingly made more and more respectable chips as time goes on, and for cents on the dollar to the Intel CPU. The only thing keeping Pentium-line procs afloat is marketing at this point.

Tualatin owned. (5, Informative)

MsGeek (162936) | about 11 years ago | (#5686315)

The Tualatin (and to some extent, Coppermine) PIIIs and Celerons were incredibly good...clock for clock better than PIV. The "dirty little secret" about Banias/Centrino is that it is not based on the PIV core, but the PIII. This is why they talk about Centrino and Pentium-M, not about where in the Intel continuum the Pentium-M actually belongs.

I want to see the Centrino platform on the desktop. But we never will see it, because it would embarrass Intel and point up how failed the PIV architecture is.

Oh yeah, one more thing. VIA has been selling the CIII as part of the EPIA Mini-ITX platform, not really as a separate chip, and I suspect the tight connection between CIII and EPIA will be even tighter by the time this injunction takes effect three years from now.

Re:Tualatin owned. (3, Interesting)

Salamander (33735) | about 11 years ago | (#5686386)

VIA has been selling the CIII as part of the EPIA Mini-ITX platform

The CPU component of the Eden Platform is referred to as ESP. C3 is the name of a processor family that's sold quite separately from the Eden Platform; I have one in an SV24 at home. There's no doubt that the C3 and ESP are very similar technologically, but they really are different products packaged and marketed differently and I'm sure VIA would like to continue selling both.

Re:Irrelevant (4, Insightful)

binaryDigit (557647) | about 11 years ago | (#5686416)

Pentium 4 is a lousy chip, the pentium 3 not much better

Please define "lousy". Do you mean that it requires more clock to reach a certain level of performance (which is what many typically mean). If so, how does this make it lousy if what you're measuring is the "complete" performance and not just say "efficiency". Intel made a very concious design choice when they went the super deep pipeline high clock route. Which has more "wow", the fact that you can ramp the clock rates up quicker, or that you can get more done with the clock that you have? Isn't this similar to engines, where you have one camp that likes big cubes and massive torque vs the camp that likes high effiency and high rpms. They both have their plus's and minus's and it really depends on the application?

The only thing keeping Pentium-line procs afloat is marketing at this point.

But don't you think that Intel "plays the market". By this I mean their processors have the price/performance ratio that they currently do because the market allows them to? It would appear that Intel could certainly afford to drop the price of their chips quite considerably if they wanted to, but this would be very damaging to the bottom line in the share holders eyes for no real benefit. So Intel continues to have the price of their chips higher than anyone else, because it makes their pocket books fat. If push came to shove, they could do a LOT of damage to the clones while still being able to survive.

Re:Irrelevant (4, Interesting)

intermodal (534361) | about 11 years ago | (#5686560)

I agree with you to a point, but i feel i should clarify. I have a pentium 4 and a pentium 4 Xeon at work. Both are sluggish and fail to meet my expectations consistently when I multitask heavily. However, before my wife switched to linux, her AMD with half the megahertz and half the RAM of my box at work ran considerably smoother, froze up less mid-task (not critical stopping freeze, several seconds of pause), and was over all a more pleasing computer. This may be due to the motherboard chipsets, but overall it has given me a very bad impression of the capability of the respective chips. Perhaps it is the motherboard chipsets, i know not. What I do know is that if my car, regardless of engine, cannot continually run as long as the engine is in order with fuel (or electricity), I will likely not buy another of that car.

Yes, i do think Intel plays the market. They play the market like a chump. And the market falls for it every time. I recall building my friend's box for her, and her mom was initially rather insistent upon a P4 until she found out that AMD was considerably cheaper and that the features of the P4 were not going to make enough of a difference for a box to write reports on for college. She ended up with rather than the $2000 machine that she had initially intended to buy her daughter, but a $1200 computer that surpassed the Pentium 4 she had been eyeing in every way for what she needed it for (more mhz, more ram, a few options she didnt even think of like a NIC, a modem, a cd burner, etc. all of which would have cost more than her initial 2k base price). So its not that the market doesnt care, its just that they dont know any better.

I Will (1)

turgid (580780) | about 11 years ago | (#5686591)

I'll define lousy for you.
We are hiring, and for our five new people I was asked to spec out and procure some x86 "workstation" and for the money, we'd thought we'd get some intel kit and try out this newfangled hyper-threading stuff. So I ordered 5 dual Pentium IV Xeon 2.8GHz machines with 1GB RAM and 120GB hard drives. We've only fired up one so far. The poor guy who uses it is going mad. When it's idling, the thing sounds like a hoover because of the processor fans. When any load goes on the CPUs, the fans spin up and it sounds like an F15 taking off. This is supposed to be a workstation for use in an office. I call that lousy.

Re:I Will (1)

binaryDigit (557647) | about 11 years ago | (#5686618)

What does that have to do with the cpu? I have some machines that are fairly quiet and others that would make you go deaf faster than a MOAB, the processor makes no difference in this case, just because your oem decided to tack on noisy fans. The fan on my Athlon 1.4ghz is incredibly annoying, luckily it gets drowned out by the fans required to cool the 10000rpm scsi drives and the drone of the portable ac unit that is required to keep the room from spontaneously combusting ;)

Transmeta is horrible. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686525)

The chips out of transmeta are junk. It's a gimmick that nobody bought into. A VIA C3 runs 8W max, and has MUCH higher performance per watt than transmeta. If you need portable windoze compatibility then you go with VIA C3, if you don't need windows then you obviously just go with one of the MIPS or ARM solutions out there. (NEC and Intel both make good low-powered chips)

Re:Irrelevant (2, Insightful)

UserChrisCanter4 (464072) | about 11 years ago | (#5686554)

A year and a half ago, I would've agreed with you. A year ago, I would've agreed with you. Around the release of the the socket 478 P4s with 512K L2 cache, I stopped believing.

I went to build a machine about 4 years ago. Top of the line P3 was $600 or so, so I picked up my 450mhz K6-2 for a little under $100. It wasn't faster by any stetch of the imagination, but it played games just fine coupled with the video card I could afford because of the savings. It wasn't beating Intel by any stretch, but it was cheap and reliable (that machine now resides with my parents, doing everything they want just fine).

I bought a 1ghz Athlon for about $200 or so. The 1ghz P3s cost more than twice as much, and were outperformed in nearly every respect. Those were AMDs glory days (starting there and progressing through to the Northwood P4s). AMD outperformed whatever Intel threw at them for about half as much. It was a no-brainer. The deficit increased even more wih the P4, which was only close when paired with RDRAM. There was an ever-so-brief period a little over a year ago where a lot of retail PC companies (the Compaqs and HPs of the world) were actually shipping their higher-end units with Athlons. I considered that great, because so few Joe Six-Packs knew the AMD name, and seeing that "trusted" companies (and not just screwdriver shops) used them went a good way in spreading the word about AMD

And then Intel got serious. They slashed the prices of their chips and released their 512KB L2 cache processors. I bought a 2.4Ghz P4 a couple of weeks ago for $160. The Athlon 2400+ was $130. These are two processors that would literally be neck-and-neck in almost any situation. If the Intel processor was $250, we'd definitely be talking AMD time, but it wasn't. It was $30 more, a number that could easily be made up for in any number of other areas. Plus, it was nice to forget about VIAs 4-in-1 crap (although the NForce stuff looks pretty nice). Now, I built a 2000+ for my brother about a month ago, and for stuff in that range ($80 for the proc, $70 for the NForce1 Board), AMD still rules, but I honestly hope the hammer seriously kicks ass if AMD wants to stay in this business.

Re:Irrelevant (1)

intermodal (534361) | about 11 years ago | (#5686635)

You do make a decent point, though my experience with P4 ended with my 1.7 P4 at work. It's a piece of crap. We also have several of our communal machines on other P4s and they are also terrible. Perhaps the latest and greatest P4 chips arent that bad, but if the performance is somewhere similar and the price difference is moot, i would rather support AMD than Intel. They have been more consistent in their quality in the past couple years for me than Intel, so I am more inclined to trust them. Besides. They need the money more, and if they go out of business Intel would go right back to their old shenannigans.

FIRST POST! (-1, Troll)

WATCH ME FAIL IT!! (661991) | about 11 years ago | (#5686201)


What kind of world is this, where a poor, library-computer using person can get such a glorious first-post? I ask you this,

why does Cleveland allow books to be checked out via eBook format, yet not let you keep the?

Most VIA cpus are in mini-itx's (5, Interesting)

dtldl (644451) | about 11 years ago | (#5686207)

and so attatched to the board anyway, making pin compatibility a non-issue.

Intel Hate (4, Interesting)

Bonker (243350) | about 11 years ago | (#5686210)

Man, I was so happy the day I bought an AMD-compatible mobo. AMD's are not, of course, pin-compatible with Intel. AMD is not a perfect angel, but they're a sight better than Intel, especially when you consider you can get the same power as an Intel chip in an AMD chip for typically half to one-third the price. It was a difficult choice to make since it meant forevermore sacrificing the resuability of intel processors motehrboards I already owned, but I'm glad I did.

My friends who retain Intel compatibility continue to pay top dollar for less power. If I think it's time for a cpu upgrade, I simply go to my local AMD redistributor and pay about the cost of two boxed games for a chip that is more than fast enough than anything I care to do with it.

Re:Intel Hate (3, Insightful)

MagPulse (316) | about 11 years ago | (#5686337)

And 2-3 more boxed games' worth to get a motherboard to go with it, and 2-3 more for new RAM. Otherwise upgrading the CPU probably isn't worth it.

Re:Intel Hate (4, Informative)

OrenWolf (140914) | about 11 years ago | (#5686398)

Untrue. I took by VIA 133-based mobo w/256 Megs of RAM, which was originally an AMD 750, and, over the period of two years, did the following:

- Upgraded to a 900Mhz Duron
- added 256MB RAM
- Upgraded to a 1.3Ghz Athlon
- Upgraded to a 1.6Ghz Athlon XP

Try doing that with any Intel chip. The socket changed *twice* during the comperable speeds I've listed here. An no new Mobo was purchased, nor was RAM changed (just more bought, for $60 I believe, but it was plain ol' SDRAM, *not* the insanely expensive RAMBUS I'd have been buying at the time if I had been using a P4).

Re:Intel Hate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686483)

It's in Intel systems that the socket on the motherboard has changed several times in the span where you'd upgrade the processor.

Memory, too. Just try to get ahold of a motherboard that sports both sdram and rdram slots to give you an easy upgrade path. They did try with sdram risers, but they didn't work and had to be recalled. Hell, even a decent price for rambus memory like DDR has would help a little... but no.

Re:Intel Hate (2, Interesting)

jkrise (535370) | about 11 years ago | (#5686347)

The opposite of Intel Hate is not AMD Love.... sometime back, Sanders - the chief of AMD, I believe, testified in support of MS in the anti-trust case. It was linked to the MS support of AMD's Hammer CPU, if I remember.

Intel's recent antics with the Centrino also point to darker designs. I'd rather prefer Intel had competition from Via, Cyrix etc. than from an unreliable AMD.

Re:Intel Hate (2, Informative)

ergo98 (9391) | about 11 years ago | (#5686367)

...when you consider you can get the same power as an Intel chip in an AMD chip for typically half to one-third the price

I'm typing this reply on an Athon equipped PC, and historically agree, but AMD had better get their ass in gear quite quickly: Taking a quick look [pccanada.com] at the place I normally order from (CDN $), a P4 2.4Ghz 533Mhz bus processor (512KB cache) is coming in at $249.99. For just a bit less you can get the Athlon 2400+, or for $30 more you can get the Barton 2500+. In other words power/dollar is pretty much on par now, so AMD has definitely lost that historical advantage.

Re:Intel Hate (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686500)

So, how much does the board and rambus memory cost for that P4? It's not enough you've got to be whiny cowards, but you're dumb too?

Damn canardian.

Re:Intel Hate (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686576)

No reason to get rambus, asshole. And the boards aren't the expensive.

All of that _used_ to be true, but now AMD is starting to price up. But you wouldn't care, you drooling fanboy.

Troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686597)

> My friends who retain Intel compatibility continue to pay top dollar for less power. If I think it's time for a cpu upgrade, I simply go to my local AMD redistributor and pay about the cost of two boxed games for a chip that is more than fast enough than anything I care to do with it.

Less power? Come over to my place sometime. Bring your machine. Maybe your friends don't want their machines locking up ever 7 minutes... Intel is compatible, reliable, and fast. AMD is for those who care more about saving money than the performance of their equipment.

11 suits (27 patents) (5, Informative)

rbolkey (74093) | about 11 years ago | (#5686217)

From the article, 11 legal suits are involved which reference 27 different patents from either side.

Serves them right (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686219)

Those Via bastards were riding on the coat tails of Intel's success for far too long. Maybe next Intel will go after AMD, and take back some of that market share AMD's stolen.

There are pin compatible cpu's now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686226)

I don't understand, can I buy an AMD Athlon and put it in a P4 motherboard? If not, then what the hell are you talking about?

Re:There are pin compatible cpu's now? (0, Redundant)

Anita Coney (648748) | about 11 years ago | (#5686291)

In three years VIA will not be able to sell pin capatible boards for Intel CPUs.

Re:There are pin compatible cpu's now? (2, Informative)

bigmase521 (612670) | about 11 years ago | (#5686298)

No you cannot buy an Athlon and put it in a P4 motherboard, they are not pin-compatible (diff pin structure and number of pins on the chip as well as the socket) or bus compatible(bus architecture is completely different). The pin compatibility Via got is so they can make their chips compatible with Intel chipsets on Motherboards. I.E. You coulld buy an Intel-based motherboard, and put a Via chip in it.

Re:There are pin compatible cpu's now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686501)

Right, but the headline says "End of Intel-Pin-Compatible CPUs?" as if to imply they are compatible now, and due to some corporate weaseling they will no longer be.

Besides, if I'm going through the trouble to buy a P4 motherboard, why would I want to put one of those Via C3 processors on it? I might as well get a WinChip.

27 Lawsuits?? 3 Years?? Did you READ the article? (4, Informative)

Tesser (177743) | about 11 years ago | (#5686235)

According to the article, "The settlement--which involves 11 cases filed in five countries--will essentially make it far easier for Via to sell processors and chipsets to PC makers."

Where did the 27 come from? Oh, wait: "In total, 27 patents were at issue in the various cases."

Man, reading comprehension must be in short supply these days. There were 11 lawsuits involving 27 patents.

Speaking of reading comprehension, the settlement is for the following:
"For the first three years, Intel has agreed not to sue Via for making processors that come with buses and pin structures that are similar to Intel's products. Similarly, Intel has granted Via a license to make chipsets that are pin- and bus-compatible with Intel products for four years, and has agreed not to sue Via or its customers for using pin- and bus-compatible chipsets for another year beyond that."

So they can essientially get away with selling them for FIVE years, not three.


Re:27 Lawsuits?? 3 Years?? Did you READ the articl (1)

fobbman (131816) | about 11 years ago | (#5686345)

Ewwww! You read the ARTICLE? How could you possibly have a traditional /. kneejerk response after reading the article?

Cmon, we have a tradition to uphold here. Say it with me now:

Damn that Intel! Yay AMD! Yay Cyrix! Yay Via!

Re:27 Lawsuits?? 3 Years?? Did you READ the articl (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686383)

Perhaps you should re-read it yourself. They can make pin-compatible CPUs for 3 years and chipsets for 4 (with an additional year for usage - so they can sell off/use the remaining stock but not make any more).

And may the market... (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 11 years ago | (#5686249)

...continue to buy competing chips that conform to standardized pin-outs, and blow non-conforming hardware right the fsck off.
No whining about businesses trying to control markets through proprietary hardware and software. The logic for so doing is clear.
Just say 'no' to the proprietary pusher-man.

Re:And may the market... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686357)

Standardized pin-outs? What standard? Intel? AMD? Transmeta? VIA? There are no standards for CPU sockets. Hasn't been for a long, long time.

You need get over that "proprietary" word and say what you really mean "free stuff I'm too cheap to pay for".

Re:And may the market... (1)

smitty_one_each (243267) | about 11 years ago | (#5686605)

Far from it. Paid for an Athlon chip and motherboard.
Paid for a (student) MSDN Universal subscription. Microsoft cures a lot of issues, while arguably raising bigger ones.
As the market demands the capacity to mix products from various vendors, choice and quality improve, and cost migrates where it should, cartels notwithstanding.
The simplicity and transparent nature of Linux is great. The agony of trying to find a PCI NIC, driver and configuration that work with my cable modem belie an accusation of being too cheap to pay for stuff.
Paying myself for the time involved, I could've dropped in a cutting-edge wireless setup. Guess I'm not a representative sample.

Re:And may the market... (2, Insightful)

dissy (172727) | about 11 years ago | (#5686561)

> And may the market continue to buy competing chips that conform to standardized
> pin-outs, and blow non-conforming hardware right the fsck off.

Hehe, the funny part about that is Intel pretty much defined the standard pinouts, so if they choose to change it, guess what, that change is pretty much the standard.

So before and after the change, you think everyone should blow off every CPU maker that isnt Intel?

Well screw that parent poster, im sticking with AMD myself, you can keep your overpriced underpowered DRM enabled 'standard pinout' intel CPUs to yourself!

CPU's??? Just processors, right? (-1, Offtopic)

corebreech (469871) | about 11 years ago | (#5686250)

I mean, the Pentium IV, *that's* the CPU, and VIA doesn't make those, right?

All those other processors on the mobo is what VIA does, but they aren't CPU's.

So big whoop. Somebody is going to come along and do to these processors what nVidia did with the nForce 2. Not being pin-compatible doesn't mean much when we're only talking about only one set of pins *and* you are making the mobo too.

Re:CPU's??? Just processors, right? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686287)


Via makes a number of low-power (as in Watts) CPU's.

They also make chipsets for, among other things, P-IV. The chipsets don't really contain any processors as such, just memory/IDE/USB controllers etc.

Re:CPU's??? Just processors, right? (1)

h2odragon (6908) | about 11 years ago | (#5686565)

what did they do with the nforce2? crappy integrated everything ... and AGP that only works with their "unified" drivers.

Computers aren't quite to the point where the throwaway engineering is going to lead to market success, i hope.

Via C3 (1, Flamebait)

stanmann (602645) | about 11 years ago | (#5686253)

Does this mean they will be producing a C4 which will beat the trousers off the P4, Or will they perhaps begin working on a P4Killer that will only work on a VIA board and will include a RNG and a FPU. Or will they try to take advantage of the Tight integration and Produce a really inexpensive Chipset which will include an off-die FPU like the x87 series.

Re:Via C3 (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686308)

Huh? Off-die FPU?

Haven't all x86 CPUs from intel, amd, cyrix/via etc all had integrated FPU since the 486DX days?

Re:Via C3 (1)

Iguanaphobic (31670) | about 11 years ago | (#5686387)

Yes. But the SX series of 386 and 486 processors required an off-die FPU.

Re:Via C3 (2, Interesting)

Big_Breaker (190457) | about 11 years ago | (#5686443)

Actually the off-die FPU was a full fledged 486DX CPU (ie with FPU unit) and installing it totally disabled the SX CPU.

Re:Via C3 (1)

GigsVT (208848) | about 11 years ago | (#5686602)

The 386SX could take a 387 coprocessor that was not a full replacement of the processor, IIRC.

Corroborating Christ (-1, Offtopic)

Christianity Troll (664653) | about 11 years ago | (#5686259)

"Don't talk to me about the authority of the Bible," one of my neighbors told me flatly. "Now, if other ancient writers could document the life of Jesus, then I might believe it. But you can't expect me to believe a bunch of stories written by his friends."

What this man wanted was corroborating evidence, and I can understand why people ask for that. Most of us, when we hear something unusual, are a bit skeptical. We withhold judgment until the story is confirmed by a source we trust.

In the gospels, we have many eyewitness accounts of the life of Christ. But as former journalist Lee Strobel asks in his book, The Case for Christ, "Are there writings outside the gospels that affirm or support any of the essentials about Jesus?"

For the answer, Strobel went to Edwin Yamauchi, former president of the Institute for Biblical Research. Let's be honest, Strobel told him. Is there really much corroboration of the events in Jesus's life outside the Bible?

Absolutely, Yamauchi replied. "We do have very, very important references to Jesus in Josephus and Tacitus. Josephus was a first-century Jewish historian who, because of his collaboration with the Romans, was hated by his fellow Jews. In the Testimonium Flavianum, Josephus writes of Jesus' life, miracles, death, and resurrection. Josephus wrote, "On the third day [after his crucifixion] he appeared to them restored to life."

As Yamauchi explained, "Josephus corroborates important information about Jesus: that he was the martyred leader of the church in Jerusalem . . . who had established a wide and lasting following, despite the fact that he had been crucified."

Tacitus, the most important Roman historian of the first century, was an unsympathetic witness to the spread of Christianity. So, his testimony is especially credible. Tacitus wrote that an "immense multitude" held so strongly to their beliefs that they were willing to die rather than recant.

And the Jewish Talmud, Yamauchi notes, finished in AD 500, also mentions Jesus. Although it calls him a "false messiah," the fact that it mentions him at all is a corroboration of his life in ancient Israel.

Finally, we have the writings of the apostolic fathers," the earliest Christian writers after the New Testament. Among them was Ignatius, who went to his execution claiming that Jesus rose from the dead, and that those who believe in him would be raised, too, Yamauchi said.

Put together the writings of Josephus, the Roman historians, Jewish writings, and the apostolic fathers, "and you've got persuasive evidence that corroborates all the essentials found in the biographies of Jesus." And, he added, "Even if you were to throw away every last copy of the gospels, you'd still have a picture of Jesus that's extremely compelling--in fact, it's a portrait of the unique Son of God."

In the Information Age, it's hard sometimes to separate truth from falsehood. So it's not surprising that people like my neighbor are skeptical.

We need to make sure people like this understand that there's plenty of corroborating evidence of what the gospels have to say. Evidence that points to the fact that Jesus is exactly who he said he is: the Son of God--and our Savior.

Re:Corroborating Christ (-1, Offtopic)

68K (234318) | about 11 years ago | (#5686302)

Ah yes, but none of these people pertaining to have documented Jesus' existance posted pics, so how would you expect people to believe it? ;-)

Praise Bob!

Re:Corroborating Christ (-1, Troll)

Christianity Troll (664653) | about 11 years ago | (#5686360)

How dare you little man! Simply because God's Chosen People did not have cameras in the time of Jesus Christ, Praised be His Name, does not mean He did not exist or perform His great works! I think your logic is quite flawed.

Re:Corroborating Christ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686424)

It would be a miracle if someone would have a camera at that time. The fact that they didn't have one proves that jesus was a fake !!!!!

Re:Corroborating Christ (1, Funny)

Iguanaphobic (31670) | about 11 years ago | (#5686421)

It wasn't on CNN, therefore it is either:

1. Not True.
2. Propoganda from the other side.

Cheap solution for VIA (4, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | about 11 years ago | (#5686270)

No pin compatibility? Fine. Swap a small number of pins, and distribute that. VIA can make its chipsets and make motherboards for its new CPUs.

Of course, what's to stop some clever young upstart from being willing to raise his CPU off the board by an addition 3 to 4 mm, to place a special ceramic enclosure between the CPU and the board? This enclosure would do nothing more than swap the pins back (sorta like a null modem cable). Of course, this would probably also require a slightly different cooling solution, but at least it's doable.

And there you have it. VIA's chipsets can work with Intel's CPUS and Intel's chipsets can work with VIA's CPU's once again. All VIA has to do is *NOT* be the manufacturer of the conversion enclosure.

Re:Cheap solution for VIA (2, Insightful)

GigsVT (208848) | about 11 years ago | (#5686577)

Don't know how reliable that would be. At higher speeds, things like lead length are critical, not to mention the added resistance of two pressure connection, resistance is pretty critical when your logic levels are only a couple volts.

Re:Cheap solution for VIA (1)

Jennifer Ever (523473) | about 11 years ago | (#5686580)

Right. Let me know when the C3 runs on an 800MHz FSB or whatever the hell Intel is using these days.

Fact is, we're past the point of cross-vendor compatiblity on these things. Intel, AMD, and Via all produce chipset/bus/CPU combos. Why change it?

once again the consumer looses out (2, Interesting)

jez_f (605776) | about 11 years ago | (#5686284)

Isn't this blatantly anti competitive. Not mercurially illegal but stifling competition.
If there were a standard chip/motherboard interface then you would be able to choose the chip that you want and the board that you want based on your preferences. Once this grace period is over (3 years) you will have less combinations available.
When are businesses going to realise open standards = growth.

Mind you I use mini-itx at home anyway so I shouldn't complain.

Re:once again the consumer looses out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686573)

mercurially illegal but stifling competition.
"mercurially?" I don't see how that term applies here.

"You keep using that word - I do not think it means what you think it means."

Def. of mercurial [reference.com]

"open standards equals growth" (0)

thornfield (638897) | about 11 years ago | (#5686587)

When are companies going to realise that open standards equals growth? How about when it starts to be TRUE!

Re:once again the consumer looses out (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 11 years ago | (#5686616)

It might be stifling competition but on the other hand, intel chose the pinout. That is a design issue, placing pins in the best possible locations. Well, probably not, since it's intel, but the point is that it is arguably patentable. Of course, you shouldn't be able to patent pin locations unless you have come up with something truly new, similarly, bus protocols.

Re:once again the consumer looses out (2, Interesting)

Jennifer Ever (523473) | about 11 years ago | (#5686650)

If there were a standard chip/motherboard interface then you would be able to choose the chip that you want and the board that you want based on your preferences.

Good lord. The chip is the board. I mean, look, once upon a time you had a relatively standard interface. Socket 5 (maybe earlier, too), Socket 7, and even Socket 370, to an extent. Standard interface, standard bus speeds, etc, because, for the most part, there was only really the one way to do things because nobody but Intel was in a position to dictate motherboard design. But the fact of the matter is, modern processors derive performance, value, and utility as much from chipset and bus design as they do from processor design. Via's CPUs largely suck on a regular Socket 370 motherboard, but they really do have certain advantages over anything else on the market when they're integrated into Via motherboards designed specifically for that processor.

Frankly, I'm happy to see the market going in different directions. I'm happy that AMD has broken away from producing clone chips for Intel motherboards and produced their own end-to-end solutions, forcing Intel to develop new technologies to compete. I'm happy that Via has carved out a niche for itself with the ITX market. You force a standard and you force us back to where we were a decade ago.

The Register article, chipsets (2, Insightful)

Spider[DAC] (129824) | about 11 years ago | (#5686301)

The Register [theregister.co.uk] has an article [theregister.co.uk] about it as well.
Now this brings up the question on what teh chipset clause means for the industry. I know I have via chipsets on my Athlon boards, and it seems likely that VIA will keep producing theese, but what about the Intel market? Does this mean that there will be a player less in that market in five years? Its a rather long time, perhaps the current hardware model is obsoleted by then? MiniATX + integrated systems + Palladium (TPC, was that what it was called?).

Intel likes doing this (1)

MentlFlos (7345) | about 11 years ago | (#5686313)

Intel pulled this with AMD back in the day.

I'm too lazy to google or anything, but why do you think we have a non intel-socket compatable AMD system?

(Granted I love the alpha bus... yum. Thats a whole different can of worms)

VIA, not Via... (1, Funny)

gormanly (134067) | about 11 years ago | (#5686316)

To be slightly pedantic, can't anyone get the name of the company right?

It's even written on all their press releases [via.com.tw] , including the one [via.com.tw] linked to from Slashdot earlier today [slashdot.org] :
Note to reporters, editors and writers: VIA is written in ALL CAPS!

Re:VIA, not Via... (2, Informative)

Jungle guy (567570) | about 11 years ago | (#5686438)

Reporters must follow editorials rules. Generally, these rules make them use Via and Nvidia instead of VIA and NVIDIA. The use of ALL CAPS in a news story makes it look like a marketing piece.

Re:VIA, not Via... (2, Insightful)

mattdm (1931) | about 11 years ago | (#5686601)

Yeah -- "If you want your name to stand out, buy an ad".

This is just common sense on the part of journalists -- if they could get away with it, companies would insist that their name must always be in inch-high distinctive letters in bright colors. And all of their products, too.

Re:VIA, not Via... (1)

TKinias (455818) | about 11 years ago | (#5686628)

scripsit Jungle guy:

Reporters must follow editorials rules. Generally, these rules make them use Via and Nvidia instead of VIA and NVIDIA. The use of ALL CAPS in a news story makes it look like a marketing piece.

There's a trend toward downcasing all acronyms which are actually pronounced as words (and not letter-by-letter); BBC has wholeheartedly embraced this, writing `Nasa' for NASA, `Nato' for NATO, and now `sars' for SARS.

Of course, AFAIK Via and Nvidia aren't acronyms at all, so there's really no justification for using all caps. PriceWaterhouse Cooper could decide to write their name in all caps, too, but they shouldn't expect Reuters to start writing PRICEWATERHOUSE COOPER...

Not a big deal. (4, Insightful)

MisterP (156738) | about 11 years ago | (#5686336)

The last Via chip I bought was soldered to the mainboard anyway. At the rate at which motherboard technology changes, this isn't really a big deal.

Also, if you look at Via's upcoming and beta (www.mini-itx.com) products, it's quite obvious that they are aiming at the psuedo-embedded type market. People want very small and low cost mainboard/cpu's to make specialty type computers such such as MP3 jukeboxes, divx players, email machines and mame consoles. For most of these types of applications, the system requirements don't change as quickly. An MP3/Ogg dedicated machine will continue to be just as useful 10 years from now. You might upgrade it to make it smaller or add 9.1 whiz-bang-super-thx sound, but not being able to replace the CPU, doesn't matter.


Don't have to worry about that much longer... (3, Informative)

miketang16 (585602) | about 11 years ago | (#5686371)

Apparently, the Intel Teja's due to come out sometime next year, will do away with pins all together.
See this link [extremetech.com] .

Re:Don't have to worry about that much longer... (2, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 11 years ago | (#5686642)

Damn, you had me all excited, I expected them to power the CPU via RF or microwave and get the data on and off it via fiber...

What about socket 462 motherboards? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686413)

Can via switch to socket 462 (AMD) and get away with it?

Out Of Nothing At All (-1, Troll)

Christianity Troll (664653) | about 11 years ago | (#5686480)

Only a God who could form the universe out of nothing at all could transform my broken life.

Science Ministries -

As I sat for the prescribed 20 minutes in my at-home-cervical-traction device to decompress what the doctor diagnosed as a C7 or possibly C9 bulging disc, I closed my eyes and allowed my mind to drift.

In a few moments, I was meditating on the opening verses of my morning devotion - Hebrews 11:1-3. "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God's command, so that what is seen was not made of what was visible."

In my musings two things struck me. First, that this is a well-known chapter on faith in which Old Testament pillars such as Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, and Jacob are set out as the best examples for generations to follow in their walk with the Lord. Yet it begins with a faith requirement that we believe God formed the universe at His command. This clearly points to the importance of taking God at His word literally and from the beginning both of time and the Bible. Second, there is such a striking parallel between the Hebrews 11:3 account of Creation and the Big Bang Theory when it is coupled with the creation of visible matter from what scientists call anti-matter.

It is this second point, however, that takes us to yet another parallel. It is that secular scientists require people to have "faith" in the "matter from anti-matter" theory in the same way that God requires that Christians have faith in His Biblical account of Creation.

Truth is scientists will never prove the earth and all its contents are the creation or result of matter from anti-matter. It is a logical impossibility if not a physical one. God, praised be His holy Name, clearly Created the universe out of nothing.

With that my mind began to drift back to the growing discomfort of the chin strap to my 20th century traction device that looks as though it evolved from a 17th century torture chamber. But before disengaging myself from its grip, I was reminded of the words to a song from years ago and it made me smile. (You men may want to stop reading at this point.)

The words to the song were sung by the duo Air Supply who seemed capable of tapping directly into the heart felt dreams of every lovesick teenage girl who had the privilege to dream of romance. Of course, I've forgotten all the words. Still I struggled to place them into the melody as it played in my mind. As I did I became fixated on the words "making something out of nothing at all" in essence the theme of this love song.

Maybe I smiled because some neurochemical firing of a synapse long lay dormant fired off a round of endorphins along with my schoolgirl memory. Or just maybe I smiled because the thought of God forming the universe at His command reminded me of something more personal: the idea that only a God who could form the universe out of nothing at all, really held the power to transform my broken life into one worth living. Today, I am a new creation in Christ. And to that end there really can be no doubt that He made something beautiful out of my brokenness and strife. In the not so immortal words of my hopeless teenage heart, He really did "make love out of nothing at all."

I think I'll take a trip to the music store.

This is ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#5686568)

This is equivalent to if GE dictated terms to any manufacturer who wanted to make lightbulbs that run on 120V. Antitrust laws should strictly forbid all CPU manufacturers from imposing any restrictions or licensing fees for developing/selling instruction set compatible and pin compatible competitors.

OT: Centrino Linux Support (2, Interesting)

asv108 (141455) | about 11 years ago | (#5686569)

This is kinda off topic but related to Intel compatibility, all the centrino branded laptops are being sold with the Intel 2100 Pro mini-pci wireless adaptor. This adaptor does not currently work on Linux. Intel has announced tentative plans to support this adaptor on Linux. The are still deciding whether or not to release it as open source or binary only. Considering the large amount of laptops being sold with the 2100 Pro adaptor, I urge anyone, to contact Intel [intel.com] and let them know that you would like to see an open source wireless driver for linux, as soon as possible. You can also send them an e-mail too [mailto] . We don't want this to turn in to another winmodem situation.
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