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Via Nano Processors Cut Size, Power Usage

Via Nano Processors Cut Size, Power Usage

Just days after unveiling its promising new OpenBook subnotebook platform, Via has fired up its PR machine once again to announce another big release from the company: a brand new processor line. On Thursday, Via debuted the Nano, a hyper-efficient processor bound to replace Via’s already efficient C7 processors in subnotebooks, UMPCs, and low-power-usage desktops.

The new 64-bit chips will come in processor speeds ranging from 1.0GHz to 1.8GHz, all with snappy 800Mhz bus speeds. The most efficient model, clocked at 1.0GHz, will consume a maximum of only 5 watts when operating, while Via claims all Nano processors except the fastest should be able to idle with as low as one tenth of a watt. In order to make upgrading to the Nano line easier on manufacturers, it has also been designed for pin-to-pin compatibility with the older C7 processors.

A 65-nanometer manufacturing process has allowed Via to make the processors just 21 mm square, or 0.83 inches on each side. “’Small is Beautiful’ is more than a design strategy; it’s our vision of where the PC market is heading and our new processors will help the market realize that dream,” said Via CEO Wenchi Chen, in a statement.

Although manufacturers will have immediate access to the Nano line, Via does not anticipate Nano-equipped hardware hitting the market until the third quarter of 2008.