Via Technologies, a developer of low-power microprocessors and core-logic sets, on Tuesday formally announced its new lineup of microprocessors. Via promises that its new chips will be able to outperform their predecessors by 20% in terms of performance and will also offer lower power consumption. The new chips are not breakthrough microprocessors with new micro-architecture, but are basically old chips with tweaks and SSE4 support.
"With the Via Nano 3000-series, we are launching our fastest and most power-efficient processors yet. 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,” said Richard Brown, vice president of international marketing at Via Technologies.
Based on Via’s own performance benchmarks, the new Via Nano 3000 1.60GHz central processing unit (CPU) is 23% faster than Via Nano 1.60GHz in PCMark 05 CPU Test and is also 22% faster in 3DMark06 test. The performance improvements are a result of implementation of SSE4 instructions as well as other tweaks. Thanks to SSE4, Via claims that its Nano 3000 microprocessors are capable “flawless playback of high bit-rate 1080p HD video”.
Although Via Technologies talks about performance, it does not reveal thermal design power of the new processors, but claims that the only consume 100mW (U3000) or 500mW (L3000) in idle mode. The original Via Nano CPUs were not truly power efficient since their TDP varied from 5W to 25W and the promised 20% drop of power consumption is unlikely to make them the most efficient chips.
Via Nano 3000 is still based on the Isaiah architecture and features x86-64 technology along with a superscalar and out of order execution engine, macro-fusion and micro-fusion functionality, advanced branch prediction mechanism, advanced floating point unit as well as support for virtualization technology and Via PadLock security engine.
The new chips that belong to the Isaiah family also feature Adaptive PowerSaver Technology that further reduces power consumption and improve thermal management, including the unique TwinTurbo dual-PLL implementation, which permits smooth transitions between activity states within one clock cycle, ensuring always-on service and minimize latency, as well as new mechanisms for managing the die temperature.
Via Nano 3000 processors use the NanoBGA2 package, making them pin-to-pin compatible with Via Nano 1000, Via Nano 2000, Via C7, Via C7-M and Via Eden processors for easy upgrades of existing designs.
Via Nano 3000 processors will be available at speeds from 1.0GHz to 2.0GHz. Via Nano 3000 samples are currently available for OEMs and motherboard vendors, and will enter mass production in Q1 2010.