Elbrus the Itanium Slayer Returns!

Asustek cheapos, VIA branches out, Counterstrike league

HWRoundup Who remembers Elbrus, the Russian CPU designer of a supposed Merced (now Itanium) killer? ExtremeTech's very fine journalist Mark Hachman does:

"Elbrus MCST (Moscow Center of Sparc Technology) could still turn out to be a mountain of hype. But the great white whale of microprocessors, the Elbrus E2K, resurfaced recently amid claims that the project is still alive. Evgeny Babayan, the chief executive of Russia's Elbrus MCST, also known as ZAO MCST, said the E2K project is still underway and the company hopes to have a prototype out by the end of the year."

Of course, the perennially cash-strapped Elbrus is looking for money (See Russian "Itanium Killer" Isn't Dead Yet.)

This chip has been a long-time coming: we last wrote about the company and E2K in January 2000, (Russian wannabe Merced-killer claims Transmeta credit). We're not holding our breath this time either.

Asustek's much-touted budget brand components line will launch end of June earliest, the Taiwanese mobo maker's chairman, Hsu Shih-chang,

told Digitimes


Production will probably be in China, and the company is unlikely to use any chipsets from VIA which are not licensed by Intel, he told the tech newswire. Asustek is best known for producing good products at top whack, but this leaves it vulnerable to lower-price, bigger volume rivals.

It's a tough market, and VIA is finding it even tougher than most. Its core chipset market, accounting for 50 per cent of sales, is undermined by the Intel P4 licensing dispute, and SiS is fighting hard for market share. But wait, what about the other 50 per cent of revenues. VIA has some interesting technologies in its patent portfolio, and it's reaching out into new markets.

EETimes has the low-down


And now a barenaked plug for our chums at Hexus.net, possibly the UK's biggest, certainly the busiest, hardware review site. They've only gone and set up a

CounterStrike League

. Is it any good? We don't know and we don't have any intention of finding out, but we do know that David Ross, Hexus.net's high panjandrum, is a whizz kid when it comes to running games servers (he did it for a living in a previous life). ®

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