The latest SiS chipsets, the SiS656 for Intel Pentium 4 and SiS756 for AMD Athlon64 and the SiS965 southbridge have been designed to incorporate the latest memory, I/O and power management technologies for notebooks.
DDR2 is set to replace DDR as the dominant memory standard, and the SiS656 is set to support both dual channel DDR and DDR2-667, depending on customers needs. For notebooks, DDR2 is ideal, since it operates at 1.8 V core voltage, versus DDR’s 2.5 V. This difference in voltage translates into less power consumption and longer battery life for DDR2 users. As well, the SiS656 is the only chipset to support DDR2-667, giving it the highest performing potential of any notebook chipset on the market.
The arrival of PCI Express as the new I/O standard, replacing the venerable PCI interface, means improved performance in a smaller footprint area. PCI Express connectors are much smaller than regular PCI slots, and they operate at higher frequencies. This higher operating frequency is especially helpful for technologies such as Gigabit Ethernet and the next generation of GPUs, which require high-speed data transmission capabilities. The SiS656/SiS756 both offer support for PCI Express x16, which offers graphics cards twice the bandwidth of today’s AGP slot. The SiS965 offers support for 2 PCI Express x1 ports, and can also be paired with a mature SiS northbridge to offer vendors more options in meeting market needs. Another benefit of the SiS656 and SiS756 is a power management state for the PCI Express interface. This function will shut down the PCI Express interface when the devices not in use, dramatically conserving battery life for notebooks.
The SiS965 also offers support for 4 SATA ports, a huge advantage for notebook vendors when trying to reduce overall size. SATA ports are approximately 1/8 the size of standard ATA ports, and also operate at a higher frequency: 250MB/s vs. 133 MB/s for regular ATA. With these advantages, SiS chipsets enables their notebook vendors to offer even better performance with lower over all weight and size.