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VIA Launches VIA C7 Processor

By Julio Franco
May 27, 2005
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  1. World-class IBM 90nm SOI process ensures ultra low power, ultra secure and ultra small processor packing a powerful punch, providing a quantum boost to x86 system design innovation

    Taipei, Taiwan, 27 May 2005 - VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, today announced the new VIA C7 processor family based on the 'Esther' core, the world's smallest, lowest power and most secure native x86 processor.

    IBM's leading 90nm System-on-Insulator (SOI) manufacturing technology employed at their state-of-the-art fabrication plant at East Fishkill, New York has permitted unprecedented levels of integration, providing the basis for significant performance boosts within industry-leading power and thermal profiles. With a tiny die size of a mere 30mm2, the VIA C7 processor idle power is as low as 100mW (0.1W), while 2.0GHz will run at about 20 watts peak power, an average of 40% cooler than competitor solutions.

    Developed from the ground up for low power by Centaur Technologies, VIA's processor design subsidiary based in Austin, Texas, USA, the VIA C7 processor is especially targeted at mainstream thin and light notebooks, mini PCs, green clients, personal electronics such as home media centers and PVRs, and high density server and server appliances that leverage the winning low power, low heat, high performance and high security combination.

    Initially to be launched at speeds of up to 2.0GHz, the VIA C7 processor boasts the highly efficient VIA V4 bus interface with speeds of up to 800MHz with competitive write bandwidth and linear ordering modes, as well as SSE2 and SSE3 support for enhanced multimedia performance, and 128KB of both L1 and L2 on-die cache memory.

    The VIA C7 processor also signals an era of practical pervasive security due to the industry-leading security features of the VIA PadLock Hardware Security Suite, a family of advanced security technologies providing on-die hardware acceleration for key cryptographic operations. In addition to the world's best random number generator (RNG) and AES Encryption Engine in the previous processor generation, the VIA C7 processor adds SHA-1 and SHA-256 hashing for secure message digests, and a hardware based Montgomery Multiplier supporting key sizes up to 32K in length to accelerate public key cryptography, such as RSA(TM). The VIA C7 also provides execute protection (NX), providing protection from malicious software such as worms and viruses, and is used in Microsoft® Windows® XP with SP2. Integrating security directly onto the processor die ensures speeds and efficiency many times that available in software, yet with negligible impact on processor performance

    VIA C7 Processor Availability
    The VIA C7 processor will enter mass production at the end of Q2; For more information on the VIA C7 processor, please visit the VIA website at:
    http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/processors/c7/.
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