Via Technologies Inc. plans to develop a line of chip sets for the server market this year, as the infrastructure supplier expands beyond its roots in the PC.
Next week, the Taiwan company will introduce a program to place four of its C3 microprocessors in a single rack, targeting customers interested in embedded applications and in parallel processing calculations, Via executives told ExtremeTech.
Later this year, Via plans chip sets around processors by AMD and Intel, emphasizing both companies dual-core architectures.
Via plans to address the commodity server market with its new products, for those small businesses that want to run a dedicated server but might be scared off by the cost as well as the required IT resources.
“Were totally committed to this,” said Eric Chang, who has served as a special assistant to Via chief executive Wen-Chi Chen and will run the new department.
Like AMD and Intel, Via has sought to diversify its business into other segments to expand its revenue. The companys chip sets can be used inside notebooks, although Vias bread-and-butter business is still the desktop PC.
Meanwhile, graphics powerhouses Nvidia and ATI Technologies have begun muscling in on Vias traditional territory, using their graphics expertise as leverage.
The server push isnt the first time the company has tried to enter the market. In 2000, Via said it would include high bandwidth differential interconnect technology (HDIT) for its Socket 370 Apollo chipsets in a bid to attract customers in the server market.
Via will compete with companies like Broadcoms ServerWorks division, which is heavily invested in the AMD Opteron infrastructure, as well as Intel and larger OEMs like Hewlett-Packard and IBM, which design their own chip sets.
Nvidia has also designed a version of its nForce chip set, the nForce Professional for graphics workstations and servers.
Chang declined to discuss Vias server strategy in detail. However, at least part of the companys plan includes a “stable image program”, according to Richard Brown, Vias director of international marketing, during a speech Thursday night celebrating a partnership between Advanced Micro Devices and Via. To date, Via has now shipped 100 million chip sets for AMD processors.