For a long time there have been several manufacturers in the chipset business and the largest of them were Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, VIA, and SiS. VIA today announced that it will be leaving the motherboard chipset business, ceding the market to its competitors.
Custom PC reports that VIA insiders said the company no longer sees a market for third-party chipset makers. VIA's Richard Brown told Custom PC, "One of the main reasons we originally moved into the x86 processor business was because we believed that ultimately, the third party chipset market would disappear, and we would need to have the capability to provide a complete platform. That has indeed come to pass."
Brown says that Intel now provides the majority of chipsets for its processors and AMD is quickly going the same route. Rumors sprang up that VIA was leaving the chipset market at the end of 2007. At the time it was rumored that a former VIA general manager, Chewei Lin, had plans to resign and take 40 VIA chipset technicians with him to ASMedia.
VIA isn't the only long time chipset maker that has seen rumors if it leaving the chipset business surface. While VIA has confirmed that it will be leaving the chipset market, NVIDIA says it is not leaving the chipset market. Rumors circulated at the beginning of August 2008 that NVIDIA would be leaving the chipset business. NVIDIA's Brian Burke quickly quashed those rumors when he contacted DailyTech to say NVIDIA's chipset business was stronger than ever on the back of the new 790i chipset.
Leaving the chipset business should give VIA more resources to commit to its CPU efforts. VIA recently announced its 65nm Nano Processor that it intends to battle directly with Intel's Atom processor.