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  VIA and S3 Graphics License Kentron's QBM Technology 
  Sep 17, 2002, 04:00pm EDT 
 
Wilmington, MA - September 17, 2002 - Kentron Technologies, a privately held company, announced that VIA Technologies, Inc., a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, and S3 Graphics, Inc. have licensed the QBM technology. The QBM controller interface license provides VIA and S3 Graphics with the necessary IP coverage to incorporate QBM into their line of PC, Workstation and Server core logic chipset solutions.

The QBM technology doubles the speed of Double Data Rate (DDR) memory devices, maintains the existing 64-bit BUS structure common in today's general purpose computing systems and meets the marketplace's requirement for low cost memory modules. Using existing DDR I devices, the technology provides DDR II speeds, cost savings and a dramatic performance improvement over DDR333, DDR 400, future DDR II modules, and other non-DDR compatible, more expensive memory technologies.

This license marks the first time that PC based systems will be able to interface to the high speed DDR533 and DDR667 modules featuring QBM technology. New systems using QBM enabled chipsets from VIA and S3 Graphics will combine the fastest speed memory in the industry with the fastest processor front side BUS speeds and maintain backward compatibility with today's DDR modules.

"VIA is committed to delivering higher performance chipset solutions to the marketplace while minimizing cost impact on our customers," said Chewei Lin, Vice President of Product Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. "Kentron's leading edge QBM memory technology will enable us to strengthen our position as the market leader in providing high-performance chipsets and, at the same time, exploit all the potential of the existing DDR SDRAM infrastructure."

"We are looking forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with VIA and S3 Graphics," said Bob Goodman, Kentron Technologies' Chief Executive Officer. "As a developer of high speed and high density memory solutions, Kentron's objective is to produce innovations that will benefit the semiconductor and system industries."

"Kentron's QBM technology implemented with VIA and S3 chipsets will raise the performance bar and deliver the highest bandwidth achievable in a low cost 64-bit DDR configuration," said Bert McComas, founder and principle analyst at InQuest Market Research. "Compared to the other high performance alternatives, this architecture could produce the best price/performance for several years to come."

In order to ensure a worldwide low cost supply of DDR based QBM modules in support of VIA's chipsets, Kentron is providing the major DRAM and memory module manufacturers with the necessary tools (modules, gerbers, design guides, etc.) under a royalty-free license.

"QBM enabled chipsets from VIA and S3 Graphics mark a major milestone toward the implementation of QBM technology," said Jun Kitano, Director of Technical Marketing for Elpida Memory (USA) Inc. "Elpida will continue to work closely with Kentron Technologies by offering high density, low power DDR SDRAM devices."

Other partners in The QBM Alliance, such as STMicroelectronics and Acuid Corporation have been working closely with both Kentron Technologies and VIA in the activities targeted towards the development of QBM enabled chipsets.

"STMicroelectronics has been a member of the QBM Alliance since the beginning and we are pleased to be providing key components used in the QBM solution being brought to the marketplace by VIA, S3 Graphics and Kentron Technologies," said Ricardo de Sa Earp, Director of Marketing at STMicroelectronics' ASD & Discretes Division.

"Acuid clearly recognizes the advantages that the QBM technology brings to the system market place and the requirement for advanced testing solutions," said Ricci Brach, VP ATE Marketing and Sales North America at Acuid Corporation Ltd. "The move by VIA and S3 Graphics to incorporate QBM into their chipset products will have a very positive impact on the acceptance of the QBM technology in the marketplace."

VIA has established itself in a market leading position by successfully transitioning to price/performance leading memory technologies, as demonstrated in the successful transition to PC133 SDRAM in 1999 and DDR SDRAM in 2001. The adoption of the QBM technology reflects the continuation of VIA's industry defining strategy of driving evolutionary memory technologies into the market in order to deliver higher system performance with a minimal cost penalty.

Frequently Asked Questions on QBM can be found at http://www.quadbandmemory.com/Technical/FAQ.htm

 

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