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VIA Introduces the Nano Processor 162

Posted by timothy
from the more-better-faster dept.
Vigile writes "While the VIA Isaiah architecture had been previously discussed, the new x86 processor is officially being released as the VIA Nano. The Nano marks VIA's first 64-bit, superscalar, speculative out-of-order CPU design and is being built on Fujitsu's 65nm process technology. While direct performance comparisons are still missing, the products being released could bring Intel's Atom platform to its knees: clock speeds as high as 1.8 GHz or as low as 1.0 GHz with a maximum power draw of only 5 watts! VIA's recently announced mini-note OpenBook platform is a likely candidate for the Nano the processors but they will likely find their way into mainstream desktop and notebook computers as well." Reader MojoKid contributes a link to HotHardware's story on the chip now known as the Nano , as well as a January interview with VIA's Centaur design center president, Glenn Henry, who "went into fairly deep detail on what VIA had in store with Isaiah."
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VIA Introduces the Nano Processor

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  • by barryp (31185) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @10:49AM (#23586303)
    How long before "Nano" gets renamed because of another electronic processing device.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Oxy the moron (770724)

      I had this same thought. Imagine, though, if Apple agreed to run i[music player/phone name]s on the VIA Nano processor. I think the universe might implode!

    • by OrangeTide (124937) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @10:56AM (#23586409) Homepage Journal
      I suspect that Isaiah was renamed Nano in response to Intel's Atom. Small 4 letter names for small cpus. (I guess). Although Isaiah was likely always intended as a non-marketing codeword, I believe someone at VIA even mentioned that before.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by papna (1242200)
        Incidentally, VIA has a theme among their processors/products of having Biblical codenames for things. In addition to Isaiah, Nehemiah, Eden, Ezra, Esther, and Samuel come to mind.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mabhatter654 (561290)
        it's also part of the NanoITX form factor they've been working on for years. I think even before iPod had a Nano.
      • by FleaPlus (6935)
        I suspect that Isaiah was renamed Nano in response to Intel's Atom. Small 4 letter names for small cpus. (I guess).

        Believe it or not, AMD is also coming out with the Puma mobile platform [wikipedia.org] in the coming weeks, intended to compete with the Nano and Atom. 4-letter names galore!
    • by oodaloop (1229816)
      Well, I think there's a few devices with the word Micro in them. But if it came down to it, they could just switch to Pico.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        Well, I think there's a few devices with the word Micro in them. But if it came down to it, they could just switch to Pico.
        Will they be introducing a more power hungry high-end workstation or server version? I propose that they could call it 'Emacs'!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Azar (56604)
      Maybe they could get this processor could scale down small enough to fit into the Apple iPod Nano. Then Apple could get Robin Williams to be the spokesperson for it and they could advertise it as the "Nano Nano". Or maybe the "Apple Mork" [wikipedia.org]. They could even wrap it in a loud looking blue, orange, and yellow protective jacket.

      Apple fans would still buy it.
    • Well, if I was Apple I'd keep my mouth shut, because Creative had an MP3 player called the Nano first.
    • by ja (14684)

      How long before "Nano" gets renamed because of another electronic processing device.
      You mean like the Via NANO-ITX [via.com.tw]? ...
  • by sm62704 (957197)
    0.065 m to 0.045 m [wikipedia.org]

    (the backwards "u" mark for "micro" won't print in the actual comment link but pastes into the texr box w/ no prob. Nerds? There are nerds here? We need micrometers and math symbols!)
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by WK2 (1072560)
      Slashdot encodes its pages in ISO-8859-1, which is standard for the www. In fact, according to HTTP 1.1, it is the default if no content encoding is specified. Unfortunately, ISO-8859-1 is quite limited, and does not include support for the Greek letter mu, nor the micro symbol, which look identical, but actually each have their own code in Unicode.
      • by sm62704 (957197)
        Thanks, seems the W3C needs to update then.
        • by pavon (30274)
          Nah, it's just slashdot. W3C allows you to specify any character set you want in the HTML header and/or HTTP server. I've been switching my pages over to UTF-8 as I modify them, which is really easy for static pages.

          For dynamic pages with existing content it is a bit more work because in addition to serving the pages with the correct character-map, you have to also make sure that the database and all the software that manipulates the text along the way supports unicode correctly. And on top of that you need
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        (Anonymously, since I don't want to lose the mod points I used)

        Unfortunately, ISO-8859-1 is quite limited, and does not include support for the Greek letter mu, nor the micro symbol, which look identical, but actually each have their own code in Unicode.

        You might want to check your facts [unicode.org] better, before posting. "MICRO SIGN", unicode code point 0x00B5, 0xB5 in ISO8859-1.

        • by WK2 (1072560)
          Shit. FYI, I did check my facts. I looked at this page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ISO_8859-1 [wikipedia.org] and didn't find mu. I even searched the page for "mu" and "micro" and firefox didn't find them. But when you showed me exactly where to look (B5) it stood out like a sore thumb. At least I didn't get modded informative (yet).
      • by rbanffy (584143)
        Shouldn't we start using UTF-8 then?

        My text editors already default to it.
      • ISO-8859-1 is a standard for the www. An encoding is almost always specified somewhere, and UTF-8 is common.

        In fact, I (and others) have been a bit dismayed at what appears to be normal UTF-8 characters entered into a comment box that don't quite translate into the posted comment.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Jesus_666 (702802)
        Actually, Slashdot goes a lot further. Regardless of the encoding used, HTML entities should be properly handled by the browser - so when I type ☺ the browser should display a smiling face regardless of how theye characters are encoded. Since HTML entities already are written in ASCII, compatibility between Latin-1 and UTF-8 s not a problem.

        Slashdot, however, actively filters out most HTML entities. I've been told this was to avoid certain site-breaking characters, but it would be easy to white
  • Really... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cartman (18204) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @11:03AM (#23586519)
    From the article summary:

    [Nano] could bring Intel's Atom platform to its knees: clock speeds as high as 1.8 GHz or as low as 1.0 GHz with a maximum power draw of only 5 watts!


    Intel's chip has a power draw of less than 2.5 watts for the highest-clocked chip. I don't see how a power draw that's twice that amount would bring Intel's atom to its knees.

    Also, I don't understand this necessity for cheesy bad-action-flick terminology ("Intel's chip brought to it's knees!") when all that has happened is a bit player releasing a product with no performance figures.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by JCSoRocks (1142053)
      Exactly. Atom may not be lightning fast but that's because it's scaled back to sip power. If someone wants to run the thing at 5 watts, like the nano, then I wouldn't be surprised if the kneeling were the other way around.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rogerborg (306625)
      Not to mention that the Atom is fabbed at 45nm, so is going to have lower per-unit manufacturing costs. Oh, and since the Atom will also have higher volume, it'll spread its fixed-cost development overheads better. It's hard to see in which market segment the Nano hopes to compete. Rich and dumb, perhaps. Nobody make a Mac joke.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by bunratty (545641)
        The Atom is geared towards cell phones, smartphones, and PDAs. The Nano is geared towards low-powered desktops, laptops, and tablet PCs. I think the Nano draws too much power to be used on devices that will use the Atom, and the Atom doesn't have enough processing power to be used on the devices that will use the Nano. Is there some overlap where the two will directly compete?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TheRaven64 (641858)
          Cell phones, smartphones and PDAs use ARM chips (and occasionally PowerPC and SuperH chips) where the power usage peaks at around 250mW. The Atom doesn't come close to competing in this arena, which is why Intel are trying to invent a new market segment for it.
        • Re:Really... (Score:5, Insightful)

          by LarsG (31008) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @12:51PM (#23588187) Journal

          The Atom is geared towards cell phones, smartphones, and PDAs.
          You kid, right? Atom is not for cell phones. At idle the Atom draws 15-20 times more electricity than what you want on a phone.

          Not to mention that Atom is a CPU only, you have to add a north/southbridge to get something comparable to a current ARM cell-phone SOC. To give an example - the TI Omap2420 [ti.com] contains everything plus the kitchen sink -accelerated 2d/3d, 3G stuff, SD-card controller, USB interface, IRDA interface, memory controller, display controller (including TV-out)...

          Currently, the Atom doesn't make much sense except on devices where X86 compatibility is a plus. In other words, subnotebooks.
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by bunratty (545641)
            No, I'm not kidding. The Wikipedia article on Intel Atom [wikipedia.org] also says that Intel Atom is for smartphones. So the Atom is only for ultra-mobile PCs? I now see that it may not be underpowered for that application [slashdot.org] after all.
            • by Rogerborg (306625)
              The Wikipedia article on Rogerborg [wikipedia.org] says that I regularly enjoy hot monkey sex with Alyson Hannigan. What's your point?
            • by LarsG (31008)
              Current Atom is not in any way suitable for phones. It pulls too many watts, especially at idle, and it needs a northbridge chip which is an absolute pig when it comes to power efficiency. If you read marketing materials you might come off with the impression that Atom is the best thing since sliced bread, but if you look at the actual numbers you will see that it uses way too much power for this kind of use.

              Atom might, perhaps, show up in a few phones when Moorestown comes out sometime in 2009. Moorestown
        • by Wdomburg (141264)
          Intel's own presentations don't have them targeting smartphones until two generations past this one. Both products are targetting "internet devices" and ultramobile PCs.
    • Re:Really... (Score:5, Informative)

      by pablomme (1270790) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @11:25AM (#23586855)
      Hey, hold on. The press release [via.com.tw] has a little table which is worth reading. The above sentence should read:

      [Nano] could bring Intel's Atom platform to its knees: clock speeds as high as 1.8 GHz with a maximum power draw of 25W or as low as 1.0 GHz with a maximum power draw of only 5 watts!
      • I am curious to see benchmarks comparing the Nano with Intel and AMD chips. Any links?
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by pablomme (1270790)
          Try the processor's page [via.com.tw] or the white paper [via.com.tw]. These mainly compare Nano with the C7, so you only need to find comparisons between the C7 and other processors.
        • Have a look [blogspot.com].

          The Nano and Atom have similar FPU performance, as you would expect from their architecture. But the Nano has the edge on integer performance, with a very efficient out-of-order setup.

          Still, the Nano at that clock speed has a TDP of 25w, and the Atom has a TDP of 2.5w. And yes, you can match them up purely on integer performance (1.3 GHz U-series Nano [8W] should equal a 1.8 Ghz Atom [2.5w]), but even then Intel has the TDP edge by a multiple of 3. This does not look good for Via.
      • Looks like they've got some real scaling problems then. That's a 5-fold increase in power consumption for an 80% increase in clock speed. Looks like VIA's taken a page from the Pentium 4 design team when it comes to upping the clock speed of a chip design...
    • Re:Really... (Score:5, Informative)

      by DrSkwid (118965) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @11:26AM (#23586861) Homepage Journal
      Like the old joke "the watch is tiny but look at the battery I have to carry in a suitcase" take a look at this photo [blogsmithmedia.com].

      That's the CPU in the foreground, passively heated, oo groovy. But wait, what's that huge heatsink with the fan ?!
      Intel have offloaded all the power requirements into the northbridge. That way they can say "our CPU is 2.5w matey".

      Oh, and it was supposed to ship June '08 but that's been quitely cancelled so no MSI Wind for you for the near future.
      • by Wdomburg (141264)
        The chipset [intel.com] in the platform integrates both the north and southbridge and consumes a whopping 2.3W.

        Not sure what that picture is supposed to be, since you didn't link any context, but it's certainly not of their mobile offering, which comes in at under five watts chipset inclusive.
      • Wake me up when I can again buy a modern subnotebook and expect it to have 10 hours of battery life, instead of 2.

        The iPhone proves it can be done -- I don't need anything much more powerful than that, but I would very much like to be able to have a reasonably-sized screen and keyboard. Yes, the screen will draw more power, but that's also more space for batteries.
        • by Luyseyal (3154)
          Or hell, have a USB 2.0 port where you could plug in a USB hub that links to keyboard and mouse and ch-ching a firewire or USB LCD display. A USB or Firewire display would be slow, but probably adequate... though some sort of tinier DVI would be the best. I was thinking HDMI, but the encoding for that would just suck an iPhone-type device dry and wouldn't even have the decency to call the next morning.

          -l
          • I was thinking HDMI, but the encoding for that would just suck an iPhone-type device dry and wouldn't even have the decency to call the next morning.
            You're confusing HDMI with HDCP.

            HDMI is an interface. It's basically DVI plus audio. The audio might be compressed, I don't know, but the video is pretty much exactly the same as DVI.

            HDCP is the new HD copy protection scheme, and you're absolutely right, it'd be horrible. But HDCP works on both DVI and HDMI.
      • by owlstead (636356)
        Yup, they are behind with their chipset offering. I do expect that they right this - and hopefully for them pretty soon. Otherwise Intel has a very interesting chip with a chipset that's just a stripped down desktop part, behaving pretty badly.

        For an average consumer, the chipset is at least as important as the CPU, so I never understand how they can come up with such an interesting chip design, just to pair it off with a dinosaur.

        Anyway, afaik, they are working on it.
         
    • Re:Really... (Score:5, Informative)

      by bestinshow (985111) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @11:31AM (#23586939)
      1) Intel specify typical TDP. VIA's is max TDP.

      2) Intel's desktop Atom (Diamondville) is 4W, not 2.5W.

      3) Intel's chipsets are 4x4s in comparison to the moped-like Atom, thus power consumption is widely unbalanced. VIA have a single-chip solution, but I don't know the power consumption.

      4) CPUs spend most of their time in idle - Nano uses 100mW here for all but the highest-end Nano.

      5) Nano is more powerful per clock than Atom.
      • Just for the record, I looked up VIA's VX800W single-chip chipset, and its TDP was 3.5W.

        This is very very low, and I believe that as a platform VIA have something they can win with, if they put some work in and tweak their story to be about platform power consumption and dedicated hardware acceleration.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ozbird (127571)
        4) CPUs spend most of their time in idle - Nano uses 100mW here for all but the highest-end Nano.

        That's the bit I didn't understand: why does the 1.8GHz Nano idle at 500mW, five times the idle power of the 1.0GHz to 1.6GHz parts? Either it's a typo, or perhaps it's not a "Nano" core at all.
    • by DataPath (1111)
      Tough to say. Intel reports "typical maximum" for their TDP.

      AMD reports "theoretical maximum" for their TDP.

      We don't know how VIA arrived at their number, but it's quite possible that VIA's 5W number and Intel's 2.5W number aren't a straight-across comparison.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Wdomburg (141264)
        It's definitely not a straight-across comparison. Intel always includes a footnote stating "TDP specification should be used to design chipset thermal solution. It is not the maximum theoretical power the chipset can generate." while Via reports the maximum theoretical power consumption.
    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      > for cheesy bad-action-flick terminology ("Intel's chip brought to it's knees!")

      I was thinking more pr0n-flick (the bad goes without saying) than bad-action-flick imagery from that statement. Don't read too much into what that says about me.
    • by naasking (94116)
      Intel's chip has a power draw of less than 2.5 watts for the highest-clocked chip. I don't see how a power draw that's twice that amount would bring Intel's atom to its knees.

      It's also in-order, which makes it quite a bit slower.
    • Atom is not out-of-order or superscalar. That was the trade off they made to get it really small and cheap. Via's new chip is much faster than what they currently sell and happens to be low wattage too. It is more matched to the eeePC than the old-model celerons they use now.
    • Re:Really... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Wdomburg (141264) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @01:07PM (#23588501)
      Trying to compare the two processors with the amount of information available on them right now is pretty silly in general. Clock speed comparisons are even more silly considering the vastly different architectures (single-issue, in-order vs three-issue, out-of-order) and cache sizes (24K L1-I, 32K L1-D, 512K 8-way L2 vs 64k L1-I, 64K L1-D, 1024K 16-way L2).

      Power comparisons are a bit premature at this point as well. Noone knows what typical consumption is at this point; just idle and max. A lot depends on how effective the power management is in each processor. Depending on the performance delta between the chips it's also possible that a higher maximum TDP won't always be the disadvantage it seems to be; if the Via chip has higher instruction throughput, it means it can return to idle state that much quicker.

      There's also the question of the whole platform, as well. The chipset from Intel manages an impressive TDP (about 2.3W) but is somewhat limited - only 400/533MHz FSB, low max resolution (1366x768 LVDS or 1280x1024 SDVO), one DDR2 400/533Mhz slot, only two 1x PCI-e ports, no SATA and only one PATA channel. So far as I know there are no hard numbers of graphics performance since they're integrating a licensed design (PowerVR SGX535) that has traditionally been used in embedded devices. However their own slideshows comparing the capabilities with their (over four year old!) 915G chipset show about half the memory bandwidth and less than a third the pixel rate. In other words, pretty piss poor. They do, however, include hardware acceleration for most common codecs, which should minimize the impact in their target market.

      The new chipset Via is offering - the VX800 - consumes far more power at peak (though as with the processor this may or may not reflect typical depending on how the power management is implemented) but is a bit more featureful - 800MHz bus, up to 1920x1200, two DDR2 667MHz slots, a 4x PCI-e slot in addition to the two 1x slots, two SATA 2.0 ports and video capture support. They also offer a lower power version - the VX800u - which drops the peak TDP to 3.5W but drops the bus to 400MHz and nixes the 4x PCI-e slot and SATA ports.

      My take is that the Intel offering is probably better suited to certain embedded applications as well as the MID market. The main market these two will likely compete in is the burgeoning UMPC market. Without real performance and power numbers it's hard to say who has the edge. More likely than not which chip is best will depend entirely on what trade-offs the manufacturer is willing to make.
  • by hsa (598343)
    They are comparing it to Atom, but the Thermal Envelopes are far above 4W. So essentially, this is faster, but consumes more power.

    So, all it takes to beat this is to release faster Atoms.

    I hope this creates some competion to Ultra-Mobile Portable Device market though, having 2 alternatives is never bad. Now AMD needs to make its move.

  • by jcr (53032) <jcr@nOspAm.mac.com> on Thursday May 29, 2008 @11:04AM (#23586535) Journal
    I must admit that a 5-watt, 64-bit processor sounds pretty spiffy, but I'd really like to see how it compares to the low-power 32-bit machines that are available now.

    -jcr
    • by bsDaemon (87307)
      Well, the C7 on the Pico-ITX board apparently draws a lowly 1 watt a 1Ghz. That means that twice the address space costs 5x the power and the same clock speed.

      Someone feel free to correct me if my interpretation is flawed, but I'm not really seeing this as worth it.
      • TFS says that this new CPU is also their first superscalar, speculative out-of-order design. If they've made an effective implementation of that, they should get significantly more performance per clock out of this CPU compared to the C7.
      • The Nano has twice the integer performance and 3-4 times the floating point performance of the C7 per clock though. A 500MHz Nano would probably compete very well with a 1GHz C7. It might also have more aggressive idle modes (Nano gets 100mW, don't know about the C7).
      • by HuguesT (84078)
        Obviously this is not twice the adress space but 2^32 times the adress space, i.e roughly 4 billion.
    • by mollymoo (202721) *
      Why not a 2W x86-64 processor like the Atom? ARM may be an inherently more efficient architecture, but Intel have an awesome 45nm process and are getting pretty good at dealing with those clunky old x86 instructions efficiently.
      • by pslam (97660)
        It's still 10-100 times more power hungry than the average ARM you find in an MP3 player or mobile phone. Both chips are totally unsuitable for usage in low power small mobile devices. Intel is quite deluded if they think they have a competitor.
  • by Dzimas (547818) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @11:05AM (#23586559)
    I should rush off to trademark Muon, Quark, Lepton, Meson and Positron. But seriously, the sudden movement at the bottom of the processor market highlights a seismic shift toward ultra portables. The Asus eee was the vanguard, and I suspect we'll see literally dozens of decent machines in this market segment by the end of the year. It remains to be seen whether anyone will actually make money in this segment, though. Asus set the bar low with a $299 machine and consumers are expecting to be bowled over by increasingly capable machines at that price point.
    • by zappepcs (820751)
      Personally, I'm not overly concerned about desktop/mobile machines. The marketplace will take care of that end of things. I'd like to see an ultra low power really-small-motherboard (nano, pico, invisible, whatever) that is fanless and can run on a small battery power source for a reasonable time.

      I'm currently hacking some old hardware and such would be fantastic. Trying to take an old SCSI raid chassis, jam a mobo inside, psu, and some SATA drives. All that in a small case as a versatile fileserver/NAS sys
      • by mad.frog (525085)

        I'd like to see an ultra low power really-small-motherboard (nano, pico, invisible, whatever) that is fanless and can run on a small battery power source for a reasonable time.

        How about this:

        http://beagleboard.org/ [beagleboard.org]

        The Beagle Board is a low-cost, fan-less single-board computer based on Texas Instruments' OMAP35x device family, with all of the expandability of today's desktop machines, but without the bulk, expense, or noise.

        • by zappepcs (820751)
          I am looking for something that small or a little bit bigger that supports 2-4 SATA devices, as well as USB and Linux. I have several cases that have enough room for 4 drives, a small PSU, and little extra room. A mini-itx board will just fit if I reconstruct the drive mounting hardware to be vertical rather than horizontal. I think this would be ideal for home. It's about the size of three Linksys routers stuck together - kind of. I have two with 5 1/4 drive bays also. I'm mounting DVD/CD drives in these a
          • by naasking (94116)
            Check out VIA's line of integrated boards. Many of them seem to meet your requirements. They're much slower than desktop processors though.
      • Intel's first Atom-based Mini-ITX board will retail for under $80 in early June: http://tinyurl.com/4pljgf [tinyurl.com] It's almost what you're after...
    • by Compuser (14899)
      Noone makes a decent ultraportable yet. I am waiting for 10" 1024x768 (not 1024x600) screen, slate tablet, under 2 lbs, 6 hours or better battery. The Wind sounds quite close actually. A slightly bigger screen and a slate tablet form factor would do it (they already seem to have 7 hours in idle mode).
  • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @11:07AM (#23586597)
    Intel has 65nm Core Solo processors (the U1300-1500) that are spec'd at 5.5 watts TPD, and they tend to be conservative on that. Now I suppose it could end up that the Via chip does more per clock than the Core Solo, but I'd want to see some real world benchmarks before buying in to that. Via has traditionally not been that powerful per clock, and Intel's Core chips are some of the most powerful per clock of anything we've yet seen.

    Also reading the article, 5 watts isn't the max, 5 watts is the TDP at 1GHz. Going up to 1.8GHz you go to 25 watts. This is very similar to the Core Solo (5.5 watts for 1-1.33Ghz, 27 watts for 1.66-1.83GHz). So it seems to me this isn't really a competitor to the Atom, more to the Core Solo. However the Core Solo is a pretty impressive chip,, so to be a real competitor this will need to be as well.

    Also Intel has a 45nm factory up and running full steam, with parts available retail. Currently it's Core 2 desktop components it's making, but there's no reason that it can't do these Core Solo notebook chips as well. Of course, going to the smaller process would mean even less power usage.

    So we'll have to see how this chip does in real world benchmarks once it's available to third parties. However, it isn't some new part that comes in below what Intel is offering, rather it is in the same segment as their Core Solo. That means it faces some reasonably stiff competition on the performance front.
  • by mollymoo (202721) * on Thursday May 29, 2008 @11:13AM (#23586667) Journal
    Why would this worry Intel? Not very many comparative benchmarks, but the IPC of the Nano and a Celeron-M appear to be similar (extrapolating from the bottom graph in TFA). That means a 1GHz Nano (TDP: 5W) would have similar performance to a 1.8GHz Silverthorne Atom (TDP: 2.5W). The 1.8GHz Nano has a TDP of a whopping 25W - that's Core 2 territory. Intel won't be very worried, especially since their parts are built on 45nm, so they get far more chips per wafer.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by bestinshow (985111)
      The Diamondville Atoms that this will compete with use 4W though. In addition the Intel chipsets that they have been paired with so far use up to 22W! If VIA have a 10W chipset (VX800) to use with this, they will have the best overall *platform* in terms of power consumption, and performance will be good as well apparently. The TDPs appear to ramp after 1.3GHz, it must be a side effect of the Fujitsu 65nm process.
  • Call me a cynic (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bullfish (858648) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @11:20AM (#23586767)
    but considering that all of my experiences with Via's products have been problematic at best, I will give this product the same shunning I have given their motherboard products. At least until I see a couple of years of good real world reports... Frankly I am surprised that the company lives
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by jcgf (688310)

      My experiences with VIA are similar.

      I had a VIA 533 MHz C3 based micro-itx board and I hated it. It performed about as well as a P2 at 350MHz at best. Things that I could do on my Athlon 64 3500 in 2 hours took 12-13 on the VIA system (converting downloaded AVI files to DVDs for my folks who didn't have a DVD player that could do anything but DVDs) so instead of doing 2-3 movies at night after work, I would have to leave it run overnight and hope that it didn't encounter any errors in the process. The

  • by FurtiveGlancer (1274746) <AdHocTechGuy@aol ... inus threevowels> on Thursday May 29, 2008 @11:24AM (#23586823) Journal

    These new chips, previously codenamed Silverthorne and Diamondville, will be manufactured on Intel's industry-leading 45nm process with hi-k metal gate technology. The chips have a thermal design power (TDP) specification in 0.6-2.5 watt range and scale to 1.8GHz speeds depending on customer need. By comparison, today's mainstream mobile Core 2 Duo processors have a TDP in the 35-watt range.
    From Intel's web site [intel.com].

    It appears Via has a decent product, but nothing that will cause Intel to break the crease in their designer jeans.
  • The history of computers is littered with nifty idea that were only 1.5x 2x or even 5x better price-performance than the establishment. Theres too much invested in existing vendor relationships, hardware and especially software otherwise.
  • 5 watts? I could cool this WITH MY FACE and be fine!
  • I'm sure intel will sell the Atom at a price that no one will be able to refuse until Nano goes away.

  • by PHanT0 (148738) on Thursday May 29, 2008 @05:01PM (#23592089)

    "While direct performance comparisons are still missing"... you can get the indirect ones for now.

    http://www.fudzilla.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6932&Itemid=1 [fudzilla.com]

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