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VIA Technologies unveiled its new microprocessor called C7 that will target low power applications that require relatively high performance and robust security capabilities. The new chips are produced using 90nm SOI process technology at IBM's facility in East Fishkill, New York.

VIA’s C7 processors, also known as Esther (also code-named C5J, Cyrix 4), incorporate 128KB L1 cache and 256KB of L2 cache, a V4 800MHz processor system bus as well as SSE, SSE and SSE3 multimedia instructions. The chips are anticipated to run at speeds of around 2GHz eventually, VIA indicated last year. The C7-M core extends the VIA PadLock Hardware Security Suite to include execution (NX bit) protection, Montgomery Multiplier support for RSA encryption and secure Hash (SHA-1 and SHA-256) algorithms in addition to the VIA PadLock RNG and VIA PadLock ACE that are featured in the current VIA C5P Nehemiah processors.

IBM’s 90nm System-on-Insulator (SOI) manufacturing technology employed at its plant at East Fishkill, New York has permitted high levels of integration, providing the basis for significant performance boosts within low power and thermal profiles. With a tiny die size of a mere 30 square millimeters, the VIA C7 processor idle power is as low as 0.1W, while 2.0GHz will run at about 20W peak power.

“With the rest of the market moving towards low power, heat efficient processor design and distributed platforms, the industry is clearly starting to follow the direction we have been championing for many years,” said Wenchi Chen, President and CEO, VIA Technologies, Inc. “The VIA C7 processor will underpin our next generation platforms and enable us to maintain our leadership in driving the next wave of platform innovation.”

The VIA C7 processor will enter mass production at the end of Q2.

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