PM Forum - Q3/2003: Part 2

by Andrew Ku on September 21, 2003 9:43 PM EST

1. Do you see VIA as a successful...

  1. Intel Pentium 4/Pentium5 chipset maker?

  1. AMD Athlon64/Opteron chipset maker?

PM #1:

  1. VIA lost timing in Pentium4/Pentium5 chipset develop. No advanced spec. can persuade customer adopt for VIA chipset platform MB.
  2. Good reputation in AMD platform and good quality of compatibility than NVIDIA

PM #2: VIA got the license from Intel and will launch PT800 and PT880. Some signs show the market will accept VIA for its brand and features. In the near future, VIA will get some market share from SiS in P4. For K7, the VIA is the best seller in the mainstream while NVIDIA is good at high-end. For K8, it’s not clear now and NVIDIA could be the best at first. After 1-2 quarters, we have to watch the situation.

PM #3: VIA p4x series always sells at the low end market. NVIDIA puts too much competition on VIA at K7/K8.

PM #4:

  1. Intel’s technology is always a generation ahead of others. Customers will still prefer Intel for high end boards.
  2. VIA’s success in Athlon 64/Opteron boards will depend on success of the CPU itself.

PM #5:

For the Intel platform, VIA stay in value segment well, but their chipset’s reliability still is an issue.
For the AMD platform, actually, K8 has integrated the memory controller; north bridge will not be a focus for every chipset provider. VIA still is a leader for south bridge.

PM #6: VIA has been losing ground since the patent war began in court not too long ago. Now that the dust has cleared and the case is settled, it’s in the best interests for a competitive market to have VIA still co-exist with other chipset vendors as a major player. Unfortunately as it stands now, VIA is spread too thin: it needs to re-think its strategies to focus on the core competencies, and keep aware of dangerous competitors to themselves such as NVIDIA who have managed to take the mainstream K7 market from them.

PM #7:

The launched schedule of PT800 is late considering VIA got the license from Intel. I think it is going to be hard to gain the P4 market from competitors.
The K8T800 chipset supporting AMD 64 is ready now. It looks like VIA could lead the market to promote it very successfully.

PM #8: VIA Technology Inc. is one of the leading technology providers in the world; we respect and believe in their expertise.

PM #9: VIA is in a very tough situation for 03 and 04, and if they can not settle down their strategy and internal management issues, it will be worse.

The market perception of VIA is important to both VIA and their customers, because this will filter down an inherent image for motherboards and motherboard companies using their chipsets, thus effecting sales. Market perception is nothing more than the “mantra,” but this alone carries a lot of weight. As it is widely known, VIA got the license situation with Intel settled and is now ready to relaunch a more full scale line of chipsets that support the Intel platform. With the Pentium 4 now widely adopted, VIA’s future market position will have much to do with their success with Intel supported chipsets. VIA is currently working on rebranding themselves, and the market is taking this in mixed reactions. In our manufacturer inquires, we have learned that VIA is losing AMD production ground to NVIDIA’s nForce2 in Q2 and Q3. This relatively new competition by NVIDIA is making it hard for VIA to maintain their previous image of performance and stability. The blood-letting price cuts, as one CEO referred to in our CEO Forum, has only made this even fiercer and has somewhat lead to the industry’s new perception of VIA as the “SiS of AMD platforms” [basically, a price player].

VIA has a very good chance now to solidify their future, as the market is still waiting on hearing their strategy. This is evident from the 54% of product managers giving VIA the thumbs up for the Intel side. The support that these product managers lend are on the premise that performance, compatibility, etc… has been worked out for future VIA chipsets for the Intel platform. Their past experiences with the P4X400 chipset wasn’t remembered too fondly, which is why the rest of the product managers are still raising an eyebrow. Either way, VIA is going to face an up hill battle. They can ability to win, but this will depend largely on their market strategy and the ability/capacity of their Intel supported chipsets.

Feedback was more positive on the AMD platform side, where 69% of product managers see VIA as a successful Athlon64 and Opteron chipset maker. But as we noted above, VIA is facing harder competition with NVIDIA. Their market perception will depend largely on what takes place between the two chipset makers as time goes forward.

We followed up by asking, “What are your thoughts on VIA’s current market position, particularly with the recent announcement of the KT600 and PT800?”

PM #1:

I think everyone will agree that VIA is one key player in the chipset market, especially in AMD platform. Regarding the kt600/pt800 chipset:
1. Based on these chipset’s spec and performance. You can say they are not high end products.
2. Flexibility

PM #2: VIA needs to seriously consider quality control on their products. Customers will want stability and assurance that the product won’t fail over a short period of time. Having been given the taste of competitors’ products, which have better support and higher quality control, it will be an uphill battle for VIA.

PM #3: VIA is currently work very hard on get back to the mainstream market position by developing new Intel & AMD platforms. The lead-time is the main-factor to the judgment. We believe the market will figure that out with in two quarters.

PM #4: They will win back some market share and get their good performance image back but will still behind NVIDIA due to lack of support for dual channel DDR with KT600. As for PT880, development schedule is too late for introduction to channel.

PM #5:

So far, KT600 was positioned for the high-end market because it can support FSB 400 & DDR 400. As to PT800, it just can compete with 648FX in the mainstream market.

PM #6: There are in the value to mid segment.

PM #7: VIA still enjoys its market share & brand-name in the AMD platform market. Regarding Intel platforms, the future seems quite tough.

PM #8: The performance of these (PT800 and KT600) is limited due to its older 0.22micron process. This makes VIA chipsets suitable for the lower end segment, no change from its position in the past. Introducing PT800 for the high end P4 and KT600 for K7 will not help raise VIA’s perceived value.

PM #9: We believe VIA is still a major player for AMD platform. VIA has great expertise, as well a price advantage compared to competitors. Both KT600 and PT600 have good cost/performance ratio for end-users.

PM #10: Too late for the market, VIA will stay at entry level/low end segment with KT600/PT800, but an integrated graphics solution may be better for this segment.

PM #11: KT600 is good for the mainstream. PT800 is still not exposed in the market. We need to watch the reaction from user.

Index Where are you considering diversification?
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  • Anonymous User - Tuesday, September 23, 2003 - link

    Irregardless isn't a real word. Just so you know ;).
  • Anonymous User - Monday, September 22, 2003 - link

    Love these articles. Keep up the good work.

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