For months now, VIA's ability to renew its license to produce chipsets for Intel processors has been in jeopardy.
Back in November 2006, Intel said to be pressuring VIA to exit CPU market. The Inquirer says Intel is attempting to squeeze VIA out of the processor market altogether. Although not nearly as popular as Intel and AMD chips, VIA's C7 processors have something of a following in mobile and small form-factor PCs and embedded systems. Taiwanese industry sources quoted by The Inquirer claim Intel has attempted to strike a deal with VIA whereby, in exchange for retaining a license to produce Intel-compatible chipsets, VIA would agree to stop making x86 processors altogether.
According to DigiTimes, the license issue is still not settled and VIA has decided to shift focus from chipsets for third-party processors to chipsets for its own C7 line of CPUs. The company will invest more resources in platforms for "multimedia control, commercial embedded (thin clients, industrial PCs and point of sale terminals), home multimedia and mobile embedded (ultra-mobile devices, set-top boxes, LCD TVs and car electronics)" systems, DigiTimes' sources claim. VIA's existing license to make chipsets for Intel CPUs expires on April 7, 2008, so the move might forebode an eventual pullout from the Intel chipset world.