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VIA unveils Opteron-optimised K8T400M chipset
HyperTransport speaks unto V-Link
VIA today joined Nvidia and AMD itself and launched a chipset designed to support the new Opteron 64-bit processor.
VIA's Apollo K8T400M is a two-chip product, that's essentially a modified version of VIA's KT400A, adding HyperTransport to the North Bridge to allow it to communicate with the CPU. The connection to the South Bridge, VIA's regular VT8237, operates over the company's established 1.06GBps V-Link bus.
By contrast, Nvidia's nForce 3 Pro Opteron-oriented chipset is a single-chip solution that adds the AGP controller, typically part of the North Bridge, to the South Bridge. Each Opteron contains its own DDR memory controller - the other key North Bridge component.
The K8T400M North Bridge can connect to two Opterons, and provides an AGP 8x bus for graphics. The VT8237 provides dual-channel Serial ATA supporting RAID 0, 1 and 0+1; dual-channel ATA-133; support for up to eight USB 2.0 ports; VIA's Vinyl six-channel surround sound audio system; 10/100Mbps Ethernet; PCI support; and an MC 97 modem.
AMD's own 8000-series chipsets centre on the 8111 I/O Hub, which connects to the Opteron's HyperTransport bus. The family includes the 8131 PCI-X tunnel and the 8151 AGP 3.0 tunnel. ®