VIA launches 1080p-capable chipset for netbooks

By on March 13, 2009, 10:34 AM
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.

User Comments: 1

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inarius03 said:
Personally, I don't see the benefit to this. 1080p on a netbook? Has anyone ever seen a netbook that can display 1920x1080 resolution? I'll wait. Then, what is the point of this? Netbooks are supposed to be 8-10" devices that are basically only good for checking your email and probably doing stuff in Word/Excel (2003 not 2007). I think this is just a marketing ploy to get people to buy certain netbooks with the "Hey, look what we can do" attitude when all this will do is run up prices on netbooks, and some already approach the price of a cheap 15" laptops with faster CPUs, more memory, etc./endofrant
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