Taiwanese Chipset Culture - More Than Just VIA
Recent years made us almost forget that there is more than just one chipset maker in Taiwan. VIA was certainly able to get the most attention, since it started to attack Intel in 1999 with the early introduction of chipsets with PC133 and later DDR support. The other two, Acer Labs Inc a.k.a. ALi and Silicon Integrated Systems a.k.a. SiS lived more of a shadow existence besides VIA. Products with ALi or SiS chipsets were mainly found in low-cost systems and on less reputable motherboards. While in the past, high-end motherboards used to be equipped with Intel chipsets only, today you find a lot of quality boards with VIA chipsets as well.
SiS735 Chipset Changing The Image Of Silicon Integrated Systems
ALi has still not quite managed to step out of VIA's shadow, even though a new revision of ALI's 'MagiK1' chipset seems promising. SiS, on the other hand, was responsible for the biggest commotion in VIA's management circles with the release of the SiS735 Athlon DDR chipset earlier this year. Not even we reviewers were able to believe our eyes as we saw the SiS735 chipset outperforming any other Athlon chipset at that time.
SiS had never been particularly famous for high performance and yet it was able to beat even AMD's 760 chipset. Over night SiS had changed its image, while VIA's engineers got their butts kicked badly by CEO Wenchi Chen, who had to face a lot of mockery for the fact that VIA's KT266 had been crushed by a product from SiS.