by Anton Shilov
05/11/2011 | 11:47 PM
Via Technologies late on Wednesday announced its first ever quad-core Nano central processing unit (CPU). The multi-core-module (MCM) called Via QuadCore is powered by two dual-core Nano processors and is designed for low-power environments that required high parallelism and multi-tasking. Via intends to begin volume shipments of its quad-core chip already next quarter.
"As a result of the rapid proliferation of high definition multimedia content and increasingly demanding multithreaded applications, a four core processor is the new baseline for today’s mainstream PC user. The Via QuadCore processor meets that need with the industry’s most power efficient architecture," said Epan Wu, head of processor platforms at Via Technologies.
Via QuadCore microprocessor is powered by two 64-bit Via Nano X2 dies that operate at about 1.20GHz. The MCM sports 4MB of cache in total, uses 1333MHz V4 processor system bus and has 27.5W thermal design power (TDP). Via QuadCore processors utilize NanoBGA2 package of 21mm x 21mm and are fully pin-to-pin compatible with Via Eden, Via C7 and Via Nano E-Series and Via Eden X2 processors.
Via Nano X2 processors are built using the 64-bit, out-of-order code-named Isaiah micro-architecture that powers previous single-core Via Nano processors. The Isaiah micro-architecture comes with SSE4, 64-bit support, VT CPU virtualization technology and Via PadLock hardware security features. The Nano X2 is made using 40nm process technology at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company.
The quad-core microprocessor by Via Technologies is aimed at inexpensive notebooks and desktops/nettops used for multi-tasking, multimedia playback, productivity applications and Internet browsing. Unfortunately, since Via's chipsets for its CPUs are mostly outdated and offer only DirectX 9-class graphics cores, such quad-core platforms cannot be used for demanding applications.
The developer of the chip claims that its processor is the lowest-power quad-core chip in the industry, which is partially correct. Modern CPUs by AMD and Intel not only integrate four x86 cores onto a single piece of silicon, but also built-in memory controller, which, in case of Via QuadCore, located inside core-logic set. Moreover, Via Technologies does not take into account very low clock-speed of its quad-core offering as well as performance-per-watt, which is unlikely to match solutions from bigger CPU designers.
Via QuadCore processors will be on display at the Via booth at Computex from May 31st to June 4th, and will begin volume shipments in Q3 2011.