SiS enters HDTV market; likely to keep making southbridges

Sunday 15th February 2009, 06:14:00 PM, written by Arun

For a long time, SiS has hinted that they'd refocus on the SoC market, and their latest announcement finally shows one example of what they meant by that: HDTVs. However, they have recently hinted that they'd remain in the southbridge market, and that likely means a focus on Intel's DMI socket.

This HDTV SoC is Full-HD capable, and seems to have a fairly high level of integration with a clear emphasis on the low-cost market. While we're not sure what synergies SiS could find in terms of engineering with their previous businesses, it's certainly not a bad market for them to enter.

A long time ago, SiS had a DX10 IGP on its roadmap, but it got cancelled - presumably before tape-out. In fact, their entire chipset roadmap seems have been in shambles since then, with pretty much no new product whatsoever. Whether they can change all that for the DMI southbridge market remains to be seen (the key is that no northbridge is required in that platform and that's where SiS often had the most problems), although it does feel like the best time for them to give it another serious shot if they still want to.

So what are their future DMI chipsets likely to look like? Mostly a lower-end alternative to Intel's Ibexpeak. NVIDIA has also hinted at wanting to create DMI chipsets, although it's not clear what they will do in that area given the lack of a high-bandwidth link between the CPU and the southbridge in this socket configuration; so, unless they had an integrated memory controller and memory chips had to be placed on the motherboard's GPU, they are unlikely to be able to differentiate on much of anything. SiS, on the other hand, could credibly create a lower-cost solution than what Intel has done while still satisfying much of the market's needs.

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sis ± intel, hdtv, dmi

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