SiS has begun shipping its latest Athlon 64 FX chipset, the SiS755FX - a part designed to support next year's 939-pin processors.
It also supports PCI Express alongside AGP. SiS' next Athlon 64 chipset, the SiS756, will do away with AGP altogether as soon as Q2 2004, The Register has learned.
AMD has already said it will ship 939-pin versions of the FX next year, most recently when it updated its public roadmap. However, it's less well known that the company plans to up the chip's HyperTransport bus speed.
The currently available FX-51's HT bus runs at up to 1600MTps (mega-transfers per second), enough for 6.4GBps of data throughput (3.2GBps in each direction). The SiS755FX, however, can run its FSB at up to 2000MTps - or 8GBps.
In other words, the future FX's will operate at 1GHz, up from today's 800MHz.
The next major rev. of the Athlon FX isn't due until the second half of next year when 'San Diego', the 90nm version of the chip ships. But if SiS has San Diego in mind, it seems rather early to talk about a chipset that may not be needed for another seven months at the earliest.
That suggests AMD may up the FSB clock frequency on a future 130nm, 939-pin FX. That's likely to ship sometime during the first six months of 2004 when AMD ships 'Newcastle, the 939-pin version of the vanilla Athlon 64. An SiS presentation we've seen claims it will ship in Q1 next year.
The SiS755FX supports AGP 8x and PCI Express. It works with SiS' SiS964 South Bridge to offer two independent Serial ATA buses and a dual-channel ATA 133 bus. RAID 0, 1 and JBOD support is in there too. The South Bridge supports up to eight USB 2.0 ports, provides a 56Kbps modem and a 10/100Mbps Ethernet controller, and 5.1 channel sound.
During Q2 2004, SiS will launch the SiS756 chipset, including the SiS965 South Bridge. The latter chip adds support for two PCI Express for I/O boards, complementing the PCI Express bus for graphics cards built into the North Bridge part - which doesn't include AGP support. The 965 doubles the number of dual-channel ATA buses to two, and provides four independent Serial ATA links. ®