VIA Introduces new VIA Nano 3000 Processors set to rival Intel’s Atom
A lot of you may not realize that Intel’s low powered Atom processors are actually nothing new. Taiwanese chipmakers VIA have been in this game for years, practically pioneering the idea back in 2001 with their C3 CPU. VIA realized that they couldn’t compete with Intel’s Pentium III for the performance crown, instead concentrating on building a chip with low power consumption. For a several years, VIA produced x86 processors with the lowest power consumption on the market.
With less power used, of course the chips ran cooler than their Intel and AMD counterparts, allowing VIA the opportunity to develop the Mini-ITX platform around their C3 processor. The specification hasn’t really changed since VIA released their 800MHz EPIA 800 and passively cooled 533MHz EPIA 5000 integrated motherboards in April 2002. The platform took enthusiasts and case modders by storm, many mods involving the boards are featured on the mini-itx.com
Fast-forward to 2008 and Intel decided to cash in and expand on the niche market that VIA had opened up. The Atom was born, and with the full clout of the worlds biggest chip maker behind it, along came the Netbooks and Nettops, aimed at the internet generation. Intel’s Atom brought affordable, stylish and portable computing to those who didn’t need the power of a full-sized PC or laptop just to browse the web or communicate.
Now after over a year of Intel dominating the low-power market, VIA are looking to claw back their share of what they started. Bring on the new Nano 3000 series. "With the VIA Nano 3000 Series, we are launching our fastest and most power-efficient processors yet," commented Richard Brown, VIA’s VP of International Marketing "Coupled with our market-leading digital media chipsets, they enable the richest experience across a broad range of mobile and all-in-one system designs."
VIA Nano 3000 Series processors are built on the successful 64-bit, superscalar architecture that powers the VIA Nano 1000 Series and 2000 Series processors, which have been adopted by leading OEMs worldwide for a growing number of market-leading mini-note, small form factor desktop, and energy-efficient server designs.
Available at speeds from 1.0GHz to 2.0GHz, VIA Nano 3000 Series processors deliver up to 20% higher performance using up to 20% less power than current VIA Nano processors and boast a number of new features including support for the SSE4 multimedia instruction set and VIA VT virtualization technology.
Fully compatible with all Microsoft operating systems, including the new Windows 7, as well as all popular Linux distributions, the VIA Nano 3000 Series processors use the NanoBGA2 package, making them pin-to-pin compatible with VIA Nano 1000 Series, VIA Nano 2000 Series, VIA C7, VIA C7-M and VIA Eden processors for easy upgrades of existing designs.
VIA are currently shipping samples of the new CPU’s to OEM’s and motherboard manufacturers, and will enter mass production early next year.
I am looking forward to the new release myself, being a fan of VIA CPU's, S3's Graphics, and anything else out of the ordinary really. It will also be great to see some comptition in this area, hopefully bringing down the already affordable prices of Mini-ITX solutions even more.