Via has launched a new chipset today described as a highly integrated ‘media system processor’ that meets the needs of today’s netbooks and other mobile devices. Dubbed VX855
, the new part offers support for the Via Nano, C7, and Eden processor lines at 400 to 800 MHz FSB speeds while also integrating a DDR2 memory controller that handles up to 4GB of RAM and several input/output capabilities (including support for up to six USB 2.0 ports) in a single chip.
A new Chrome9 HCM graphics engine is also present to provide some modest 3D graphics – this is still a DirectX 9 part. Its main selling points, however, are its ability to deliver 1080p video playback while using a maximum of just 2.3W of power. The hardware supports a variety of video standards, including H.264, MPEG-2/4, VC-1 and WMV9.
Although it seems a bit unnecessary for a netbook to be capable of 1080p video decoding, considering the lack of a large display, it is a feat that Intel's current netbook platform is still unable to claim. Nvidia’s Ion platform, on the other hand, does offer such functionality but we've yet to see a retail product using it. Via could take advantage of this if it can get the VX855 chipset into a netbook soon.