Via is aiming its first x86 quad-core processor at everything from mainstream desktop and notebook PCs to mini-servers.
Technologies is rolling out its first quad-core processor designed for
everything from small-form PCs to low-end servers.
the QuadCore processor May 12, with officials calling it the lowest-power
quad-core chip on the market.
"As a result
of the rapid proliferation of high-definition multimedia content and
increasingly demanding multithreaded applications, a four-core processor is the
new baseline for today's mainstream PC user," Epan Wu, head of processor
platforms at Via, said in a statement. "The VIA QuadCore processor meets that
need with the industry's most power-efficient architecture."
rivals Intel and Advanced Micro Devices offer dual-core processors for
mainstream PCs; most of their quad-core chips are aimed at high-end-and
power-hungry-gaming machines. However, Via officials said the power efficiency
of their QuadCore chip will make it attractive to OEMs to put it into their
The new 1.2Ghz
x86 chip offers a TDP (thermal design power) of 27.5 watts, which is about 21
percent more energy-efficient than comparable chips from Intel and AMD,
according to Via officials. They said the chip could be used in everything from
desktop PCs, notebooks and small form-factor PCs to all-in-one PCs and
QuadCore may be highly energy-efficient, it remains to be seen the impact and
reach it will have in the industry. Currently Via holds about 0.2 percent of
the world's chip market; Intel has about 80.8 percent; and AMD has 18.9
percent, according to market research firm IDC. In addition, IDC analysts say that ARM Holdings, whose
low-power chip designs currently power most mobile devices, including
fast-selling tablets and smartphones, also will become a larger player in the
PC chip space, accounting for as much as 13 percent of the market by 2015.
40-nanometer QuadCore chips put four "Isaiah" cores on two dies, which
officials say offer improvements in multitasking and multimedia performance.
They offer such capabilities as Adaptive Overclocking, 4MB of L2 cache, Via's
VT virtualization technology-which lets users run legacy software in virtual
environments without hurting performance-and the company's PadLock with the
Advanced Cryptography Engine, a hardware-based security tool for data
encryption on the fly.
The chips are
pin-compatible with Via's Eden, C7 and Nano E-Series and Eden X2 processors.
Via will have
the new QuadCore chips on display at the upcoming Computex show in Taiwan,
which runs May 31 to June 4. Shipments will start in the third quarter.