VIA unveils Nano processor to compete against Intel Atom

VIA formally unveiled its new VIA Nano processor (codename Isaiah) today.

The VIA Nano processor family offers as much as four times the performance within the same power range to extend VIA’s performance per watt leadership, while pin compatibility with VIA C7 processors will ensure a smooth transition for OEMs and motherboard vendors, and provides them with an easy upgrade path for current system or board designs.

The VIA Nano will target markets such as the mini-notebooks (like the HP Mini-Note which currently uses VIA’ C7 processor) and low-cost desktops. Two families will be offered: The VIA Nano L-series will be intended for mainstream desktop and mobile PC systems and the low-voltage U-series will be used in small form factor desktop and ultra mobile devices (like the HP Mini-Note). Clock speeds range from 1.0GHz to 1.8GHz. Unlike the Intel Atom which uses a linear design, the VIA Nano will use a 64-bit superscalar speculative out-of-order microarchitecture. It may help it perform better than the Atom in some scenarios by allowing the processor to re-prioritize instruction sets. Other highlights include a 800MHz Front Side Bus, two 64KB L1 caches and 1MB exclusive L2 cache, advanced power and thermal management, and more.

VIA Technology did not disclose pricing on its new processor line. It is now available to device manufacturers and Nano-powered systems and devices should hit the market in Q3 2008.

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