Intel Grants Pentium M Bus License to VIA Technologies [UPDATED]

VIA C7-M Processors to be Intel Mobile Infrastructure Compatible

by Anton Shilov
05/17/2005 | 11:58 AM

FOLLOW UP: VIA Denies Intel Pentium M Bus Licensing.


UPDATE: VIA's official in Moscow, Russia, declined late on Tuesday that Intel Pentium M bus licensing deal had been signed.

UPDATE 2: Removing possibly sensible comments that contain business-related information that is not to be disclosed.

VIA Technologies confirmed on Tuesday that its upcoming C7-M processors that target mainstream slim and light notebook as well as Tablet PCs will be pin-to-pin compatible with Intel’s Socket 479 infrastructure used in mobile computers. The compatibility will allow VIA’s mobile products to fit into existing chassis and infrastructure, which may catalyze design wins by the company.

“VIA’s forthcoming C7-M microprocessors will be compatible with Socket 479. [...],” a VIA representative said. 

Under agreement signed two years ago VIA did not have rights to develop and sell processors pin-to-pin or bus compatible with Intel's microprocessors. Terms of the upcoming deal were not disclosed.


Late on Monday a claim that a future VIA processor would be pin-to-pin compatible with Intel Pentium M and Celeron M chips was published at The Inquirer web-site, which also reported that at least one tier-one Taiwanese mainboard manufacturer was already working on a product to support such a chip.

VIA’s C7-M processors, also known as Esther (also code-named C5J, Cyrix 4), incorporate 128KB L1 cache and 256KB of L2 cache, a 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.

C7-M processors from VIA Technologies are projected to be made using 90nm Silicon-on-Insulator process technology at IBM’s East Fishkill, NY, facility. According to VIA, 1.00GHz microprocessor made using 90nm process technology dissipates only about 3.5W thanks to PowerSaver 4.0 technology and advanced manufacturing process. It was not unveiled how much energy the chip dissipates at 2.0GHz and higher core-speeds.

The official announcement and finalized details on the matter of the VIA C7-M and supporting platforms are expected to be released at VIA Technology Forum 2005 which will be held in Taiwan, Taipei, at the same time as Computex Taipei 2005 trade-show: from the 31st of May to the 4th of June, 2005.

Intel did not comment on the news-story.