VIA launches small, low power chip range

VIA Nano processor to rival Intel's Atom in notebook and mini-notebook form factor

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By  Mark Sutton Published  May 29, 2008

VIA has launched a new line of small, low power consumption processors that will compete with Intel's Atom offering.

The new 64-bit Nano processors - formerly codenamed Isaiah - have been designed for notebooks and mini-notebooks, and are intended to offer superior performance with a low heat output.

The processors have been designed by VIA subsidiary Centaur Technology, and are based on the x86 architecture, to give compatibility with the widest possible range of applications. The chips also use superscalar architecture, which VIA says will give superior performance for a range of tasks.

While Nano processors offer up to four times the performance of VIA's current C7 processors, their Thermal Design Power (TDP) - at between 5 and 25 watts is higher than Intel's Atom, which rates 2.5 watts.

Wenchi Chen, President and CEO, VIA Technologies said: "VIA Nano processors represent the next generation of x86 technology, providing the fundamental building blocks for a new genre of optimized computing solutions. '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."

Nano processors are expected to ship in volume in the third quarter of this year.

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