___________________________________________1. Overview of Recent Chipsets for the AMD Platform¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ ¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯_______AMD-ATI¯¯¯¯¯¯¯
ATI entered the PC chipset market in 2002 with the integrated graphics chipset family called Radeon IGP & IXP
for value to mainstream desktop and notebook PCs both for AMD and Intel, where
- IGP = Integrated Graphics Processor (northbridge)
- IXP = Integrated Communications Processor (southbridge)
They were geared toward the OEM market. A shift occurred in late 2004 with the release of ATI Radeon Xpress 200 Series
for AMD K8 processors
. The current AMD Chipsets
- ATI 480 Series with or without integrated Radeon X300 graphics core
First released on November 8, 2004. The first ATI chipset for the AMD K8 processors with the official model name ATI Radeon Xpress 200 Series for AMD Processors. The series includes ATI's first chipset with dual PCI Express x8 supporting CrossFire.
- ATI 580 Series
Released on March 1, 2006. Actually there is only one model that features dual PCI Express x16 supporting CrossFire.
- AMD 690 Series with integrated Radeon X700 graphics core
Released on February 28, 2007. AMD's first integrated graphics chipset. Supports HDMI and partial HD hardware acceleration.
- AMD 7 Series with or without integrated graphics
To be released in Q3–Q4 2007. Supports HyperTransport 3.0 and PCI Express 2.0. The high-end model supports dual PCI Express x16. The integrated graphics supports universal video decoder (UVD).
Each northbridge can be coupled with southbridge
- ATI SB400 (IXP 400)
- ATI SB450 (IXP 450)
- ATI SB460 (IXP 460)
- ATI SB600 (IXP 600)
- ATI SB700 (IXP 700) (Q4 2007)
via A-Link Xpress
(PCI Express x2) or A-Link Xpress II
(PCI Express x4). As A-Link Xpress (II) is backward compatible with PCI Express links, they can also be coupled with any third-party southbridge that relies on PCI Express links to connect to northbridge such as
- ULi M1573
- ULi M1575
NVIDIA entered the chipset business with the nForce
chipset for the AMD platform in June 2001. nForce
chipsets were designed for use with Athlon XP. NVIDIA adopted single-chipset solutions for the Athlon 64 processor (except for those for SLI x16 and C51/MCP51) because the memory controller is integrated in the processor. The chipsets are:Chipsets with Discrete Graphics
Chipsets with Integrated Graphics
First released on April 22, 2003 along with the first Opteron processor. Supports AGP but does not support PCI Express. Introduced a native Gb LAN for the first time.
- nForce4 Series (codenamed Crush K8-04 or CK8-04)
First released on October 2004. Features the support for PCI Express and the SLI (Scalable Link Interface) technology.
- nForce 500 Series (codenamed MCP55 and MCP65)
First released on May 24, 2006 along with the Socket AM2 processors. New features include LinkBoost technology, support for 6 SATA drives, HD Audio interface, FirstPacket technology and DualNet technology. A cut-down version was released in H1 2007 that substitues the original nForce 500 Series and is placed below the upcoming nForce 700a Series.
- nForce 600a Series
Released on November 30, 2006. Quad FX Platform only (nForce 680a SLI).
- nForce 700a Series (codenamed MCP72)
To be released in Fall 2007. Fully supports new AMD Phenom processors. All versions of the MCP72 will support HyperTransport 3.0 processor bus as well as PCI Express 2.0 interconnection.
- GeForce 6-Series and nForce4 Series (codenamed C51/MCP51 and MCP61)
First released on September 20, 2005. A two-chip IGP solution from NVIDIA since the nForce 2 IGP. Unlike nForce2 that was targeted at the enthusiasts market, it was aimed for corporate desktop, value desktop and media center machine. A low-end single chipset solution, MCP61, that substitutes the C51/MCP51, was released in August 2006.
- GeForce 7-Series and nForce 6-Series Series (codenamed MCP68)
Released on May 7, 2007. This is basically an updated version of MCP61 featuring GeForce 7 Series GPU and HDMI support.
- GeForce 8-Series mGPU (codenamed MCP78)
Released on March 4, 2008. A single-chipset solution. It features HyperTransport 3.0 and PCI Express 2.0. The graphics core features DirectX 10 and PureVideo HD Gen 3 that supports full acceleration for MPEG-2, VC-1 and H.264 decode.
- Discrete Graphics: MCP55 —› MCP65 —› MCP72 —› MCP82 (Q1 09)
- Integrated Graphics: MCP51 —› MCP61 —› MCP68 —› MCP78 —› MCP85 (Q1 09)
In either case the number increases first by 10, then by 7, then by 10, then by 7 ...References___SiS¯¯¯
Silicon Integrated Systems Corp. (SiS) has been producing chipsets for AMD since 1999 (?). The current AMD Athlon 64 chipsets
include ones for AGP and for PCI Express, and with or without integrated graphics.___ULi¯¯¯
ULi Electronics is a fabless IC design company (acquired by NVIDIA in December 2005) and has been producing PC chipsets
for both AMD and Intel. Right now only one chipset M1697
(a single chip solution) supports AM2.___VIA¯¯¯
VIA has been producing chipsets
for AMD and Intel for a long time. VIA was a leading chipset supplier in the K6 and K7 era but supplied only value segment chipsets lately. The current chipset series for the AMD platform is
- K8 Series northbridges with VIA southbridges
They support AGP or PCI Express with or without integrated graphics.
VIA switched its focus from third party chipsets (i.e. for Intel and AMD) to chipsets for its own C7 processor platform in Q4 2007 (source