Ever since the nForce2 chipset was introduced late last year VIA has been a distant second to NVIDIA in the minds of Athlon XP enthusiasts. Since nForce2’s introduction NVIDIA has enjoyed increased profits and market share from their CPU chipset business. Ironically, NVIDIA’s traditionally rock solid grasp on the video chipset market has waned over the last nine months due to a combination of two factors; a severe lack of execution on the 0.13-micron process from foundry partner TSMC, and tough competition from ATI’s R300 line of products, which coincidentally became available just a few weeks before the first nForce2 motherboards started trickling into the channel late October of 2002. We wonder if ATI will be able to successfully penetrate the Socket A chipset business with a killer technology like nForce2; we’re sure NVIDIA will be watching that development quite closely.
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