iXBT Labs - Computer Hardware in Detail






Interview with Gigabyte

<Q>: Could you introduce yourself first, please? What is your position in GIGABYTE?

<A>: My name is Darryl Chan. I am working in Giga-Byte Technology as assistant manager in marketing department.

My Name is Mei Yang. I am assistant manager for Gigabyte VGA products.

<Q>: How will the average mainboard in H1'2001 look?

<A>: Average mainboard will still looks the same as the current mainboard expect few changes.

  1. P4 mainboard with RIMM will begin to hit the market. Majority of the P4 board will be in ATX; we will only see few OEM shipping micro ATX P4 board.
  2. DDR mainboard will begin to hit the market in both P6 and K7 architecture in both ATX and Micro ATX form factor.
  3. Mainboard with IDE RAID will become more popular on board feature for distribution mainboard market.
  4. FSB 266 MHz K7 mainboard will begin to ship in Q1 '01

<Q>: What will happen on CPU/chipset market in 2001?

<A>: CPU/Chipset no major change for H1'01

  • Intel
    • Celeron move from 66 MHz to 100 MHz
    • P3 stop at 1 GHz above 1 GHz move to Coppermine-T
    • P4 ramping up with speed up to 1.7 GHz

  • AMD
    • 266 MHz FSB processor
    • New power saving processor release from AMD

  • Via
    • Still a minority for entry market


  • Most of the chipset venders are moving to DDR support expect Intel.
  • Most of the 3rd party chipset venders are coming out with the high-speed link between NB and SB, like V-link from Via, Hub-link from Intel, LDT from AMD.

Graphics venders will enter the Chipset market by Q2 next year.

<Q>: You were preparing the mainboard for Timna. What do you think now, when Intel has cancelled this project?

<A>: We think Intel made a good decision to cancel Timna. I believe it will be a nightmare for both Intel and Mainboard manufacturers to support this kind of model. Intel is shipping CPU and graphic chip, but mainboard venders has to supply current CPU path, Graphics BIOS, and driver to make it work. I think we will run into support problem if CPU has a stepping change and only new driver and new BIOS can support the new processor. If this happen user will have no way to make their system work, if they happen to have the new processor with a not updated mainboard.

2ndly we think the Timna will not be able to save customer a lot of money, due to its Rambus architecture.

<Q>: Could you please comment Intel's decision not to release Almador chipset?

<A>: Almador is just another form of 815/815E, since 815/815E like product is not a very successful product in the channel, we think Almador will not be a successful in the channel.

<Q>: A lot of companies started to produce information appliances. Which way do you think is better: “crippled” PC from VIA or a special device with a special architecture and CPU (for example, Crusoe)?

<A>: We think it is a specialized device for specialized purpose. PC is multi-functional device. An IA will not be able to replace a PC and a full function PC is just not suitable for someone who only requires certain function.

<Q>: Please, tell us about the company's results in the last quarter. Any forecasts?

<A>: Is was a good quarter for Giga-Byte Technology, we should be able to ship close to 3 million pcs of mainboard in Q4

Last quarter was best ever for Gigabyte AGP card comparing to our previous quarters. We have good and solid foundation to gain more market share in the VGA. We should be easily double or triple our quantity in the coming year. We will make a lot of noise and splash in this market.

<Q>: What do you think about the future of Crusoe CPU and mobile processors from AMD?

<A>: No comment on Mobile processor.

<Q>: Can we expect an integrated Bluetooth controller in GIGABYTE's mainboards?

<A>: Bluetooth on mainboard will not happen in next year, in the future maybe

<Q>: Intel is going to release P4 processor and in a quarter will change its form-factor (0.13 micron Northwood). What do you think of it? What does GIGABYTE plan for P4?

<A>: We will ship current P4 board, and transfer to socket 478 in Q3. We think it is painful, and will impact the sales of the P4.

We are shipping P4 board now, will ramp up the volume in Q1 '01

<Q>: What do you think about NVIDIA (Crush) and ATI (ArtX2) future integrated chipsets? What about price/performance balance of these solutions? Will these announcements change market shares of other chipset companies?

<A>: Both of them are at the same position in the VGA chips market. NVIDIA is suitable for add-on card market, and ATI is suitable for notebook market.

<Q>: Will GIGABYTE release STMicroelectronics KYRO chip based graphics card? What do you think about this chip?

<A>: We believe this chipset have great potential. Now we are observing the market reaction to this chipset. In short term we do not plan introduce card with KYRO chipset to the market

<Q>: 3dfx announced that they would provide Rampage chip for graphics cars makers. Is it possible that GIGABYTE will produce cards based on 3dfx's future chips? (The question was asked before 3dfx was sold to NVIDIA)

<A>: We will not introduce any chipset from 3dfx based cards at this time.

<Q>: What is your forecast for the graphics chips (cards) market in 2001? Will NV20 and NV17 from NVIDIA be the leaders or anybody will be able to compete with NVIDIA?

<A>: My forecast for the graphic card should be at 20% growth World Wide. We believe NVIDIA are current leader in this field. We have strong believe and faith in NVIDIA. I can only say that only time and market will answer last part of the question.

<Q>: The future chip from NVIDIA - NV17 will have an integrated HD processor. What do you think of this feature?

<A>: We have not received enough information from NVIDIA to comment on this feature. It sound very interesting

<Q>: NV20 won't appear this year. Do you think it is a good solution to move the release to Febraury-March'2001?

<A>: No comments

<Q>: Thank you very much for your answers!

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