Intel Corp. this week announced a version of its previous-generation chipset that is now compatible with forthcoming Intel Atom Z300-series microprocessors designed for cost-effective desktops and notebooks. The inexpensive Intel 945GC core-logic officially becomes the first chipset to support Atom processors for non-handheld applications.
“The Intel 945GC desktop chipset for value desktop platforms is being updated to add support for the Intel Atom processor 300-series based platforms. There is no change to the Rev ID and there are no functional changes. However, depending on platform design,
BIOS changes may be required to comprehend the Intel Atom processor 300-series, specifically the dual-core feature as well as for legacy processors,” a document from Intel for system developers reads.
At present Intel only ships Intel Atom Z500-series microprocessors compatible with Intel US15 system controller hub that features single-channel DDR2 memory controller, has built-in graphics engine that supports 3D as well as hardware accelerated 720p and 1080i high-definition video decode capabilities. In addition, the chip supports PCI Express, USB and Secure Digital I/O bus. Intel Atom Z500 and US15 are aimed mostly at mobile and embedded markets.
Intel Atom Z300-series and Z200-series processors, which are projected to be released in the second half of the year, will be aimed at low-cost desktop and mobile platforms.
Intel 945GC core-logic features integrated Intel Graphics and Media Accelerator 950 graphics core with DirectX 9.0 support, 800MHz and 533MHz processor system bus, dual-channel DDR2 memory controller with PC2-3200 and PC2-4200 (400MHz and 533MHz) support, PCI Express x16 slot, high-definition audio support and so on.
The 945GC chipset was released in 2006, but is based on the Intel 945G design originally launched in 2005 and currently may be considered outdated due to lack of support of such features as hardware-accelerated video playback in such formats as MPEG-4, VC-1 or WMV9. Still, considering product positioning, the 945GC chipset may offer the right balance between the price and functionality.
The new desktop 945GC chipset version is backward compatible with platforms validated with the previous chipsets. Customers need to update their ordering process to place new desktop 945GC chipset orders with the new SLB86 S-Spec and MM#898535 once they become available for order in early July, Intel explained.
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