Via's next-gen Isaiah processors that they're hoping will break them into the mainstream market just got all official, going by the more consumer-friendly Nano moniker. When we talked with Via about them last week, they said that Isaiah-based processors will deliver 4x the performance of their current C7 chips (which power the OQO and Cloudbook) at the same power envelope. The press release touts the chips' ability to playback Blu-ray and run Crysis—that might be true, but we have the feeling you won't exactly want to in the latter case. Available to manufacturers now, you should start seeing Nano-powered wares in the fall. The low-power-but-decent-performance chip space is definitely getting a mite crowded.
VIA Launches VIA Nano Processor Family[VIA]
Power efficient processors based on 'Isaiah' architecture designed for optimized performance for mainstream PC markets and new device types
Beijing, China, 29th May 2008 - VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient x86 platforms, today announced the new VIA Nano processor family based on the VIA Isaiah Architecture.
Building on the market-leading energy efficiency of the VIA C7 processor family, the VIA Nano processor family offers as much as four times the performance within the same power range to extend VIA's performance per watt leadership, while pin compatibility with VIA C7 processors will ensure a smooth transition for OEMs and motherboard vendors, and provides them with an easy upgrade path for current system or board designs.
The first 64-bit, superscalar, speculative out-of-order processors in VIA's x86 platform portfolio, VIA Nano processors have been specifically designed to revitalize traditional desktop and notebook PC markets, delivering truly optimized performance for the most demanding computing, entertainment and connectivity applications, including Blu-ray Disc™ HD video playback and the latest PC games, such as Crysis™.
The VIA Nano processor family leverages Fujitsu's advanced 65 nanometer process technology for enhanced power efficiency, and augments that with aggressive power and thermal management features within the compact 21mm x 21mm nanoBGA2 package for an idle power as low as 100mW (0.1W), extending the reach of power efficient green and silent PCs, thin and light notebooks and mini-notes around the world.
"VIA Nano processors represent the next generation of x86 technology, providing the fundamental building blocks for a new genre of optimized computing solutions," said Wenchi Chen, President and CEO, VIA Technologies, Inc. "'Small is Beautiful' is more than a design strategy; it's our vision of where the PC market is heading and our new processors will help the market realize that dream."
VIA's 'nano' association also extends to VIA's signature silicon and platform design characteristics of power efficiency and form factor size reduction, as demonstrated by VIA's ultra compact Nano-ITX boards and the processor packaging used for the current VIA C7 processor family and the first generation of VIA Nano processors.
About the VIA Nano Processor Family
Initially to be launched in two skus, the VIA Nano L-series processors for mainstream desktop and mobile PC systems and the ultra low voltage U-series for small form factor desktop and ultra mobile devices such as mini-notes.
The VIA Nano processor family boasts the highly efficient VIA V4 bus interface and brings a host of technology firsts to VIA's processor platform line-up, including:
— 64-bit Superscalar Speculative Out-Of-Order MicroArchitecture: Supports a full 64-bit instruction set and provides for macro-fusion and micro-fusion functionality, and sophisticated branch prediction for greater processor efficiency and performance.
— High-Performance Computation and Media Processing: The high-speed, low power VIA V4 Front Side Bus starting at 800MHz, plus a high floating point unit, support for new SSE instructions, and two 64KB L1 caches and 1MB exclusive L2 cache with 16-way associativity gives a big boost to multimedia performance.
— Advanced Power and Thermal Management: Aggressive management of active power includes support for the new "C6" power state, Adaptive PowerSaver™ Technology, new circuit techniques and mechanisms for managing the die temperature, reducing power draw and improving thermal management.
— Scalable Upgrade to VIA C7™ Processor: Pin-to-pin compatibility with current VIA C7 processors enables a smooth transition for OEMs and mainboard vendors, enabling them to offer a wider range of products for different markets with a single board or system design.
— Greener Technology: In addition to full compliance with RoHS and WEEE regulations, product manufacturing will be halogen-free and lead-free at launch, helping to promote a cleaner environment and more sustainable computing.
— Enhanced VIA PadLock™ Security Engine: Industry-leading on-die hardware cryptographic acceleration and security features, including dual quantum random number generators, an AES Encryption Engine, NX-bit, and SHA-1 and SHA-256 hashing.