Tomorrow’s UMPC: VIA’s latest CPU architecture

IsaiahVIA, the processor manufacturer of choice for Everex’s CloudBook and other UMPCs, recently announced its brand spankin’ new x86 Isaiah architecture which was developed by a company called Centaur Technology Inc. The new architecture was developed for the “mobile marketplace…from notebooks down to little notebooks, down to ultra-mobile PCs, down to mobile internet devices,” Centaur President Glenn Henry told Ultramobilelife. It’s also expected to provide two to four times the performance of current VIA processors, even at the same CPU clock speeds, while keeping power consumption down. Isaiah uses 65-nanometer technology, as opposed to the current 90-nanometer one. The smaller size will help conserve battery life in ultramobile PCs, and also help the computers run at cooler temperatures to prevent over-heating. Here’s the biggest difference, though. The latest architecture was designed to deliver “tomorrow’s internet, including high-definition video, 3D games, imaging, and virtual worlds,” to ultra-mobile PCs. One way VIA hopes to achieve this goal is with increased processor speeds. Currently, the C7-M processor family line based on the Esther architecture is the CPU of choice for the Everex CloudBook, and it’s clocked at just 1.0-1.5GHz with 400MHz of front-side bus. The latest generation should offer a 2GHz processor speed and up to 1333MHz of front-side bus. The new architecture will “double the performance at the same power,” Henry said, but will also be “pin-compatible” with the current VIA C7 processor family, which will make upgrading from the Esther platform easier. With this new generation of VIA processors, we expect more powerful ultramobile PCs and internet media devices, and we’ll likely see them in the next generation releases from Everex, Samsung, and others. According to the company’s whitepapers, products will begin shipping in Spring 2008.

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