Hannover (Germany) - Via today announced a series of C7-M ULV processors, which are claimed to be the lowest power CPUs available on the market today. The processors will be aiming for handheld products and will be available with clock speeds ranging from 1 to 1.5 GHz.
Via's C7 processors typically are only available in very specific applications in North America and therefore a mystery to users on this side of the Pacific. This scenario, however, could change as Via is targeting a new variant of the family at mobile and handheld handheld devices, such as the ultra mobile PC platform (UMPC). Provided that the UMPC will find some interest, the new C7-M should become more visible soon.
Via today announced a total of five processors, with clock speeds of 1.5 GHz (model 775), 1.2 GHz (772), 1.1 GHz (771), and two 1.0 GHz versions (770 and 779). Besides clock speed the CPUs can be distinguished by their thermal design power, which is rated from 7.5W on the high end (775) to 5W (770) and 3.5W (779) on the low end. All processors come with a 400 MHz front side bus.
"The Via C7-M ULV processor is the result of a concerted design effort to create the world's lowest power x86 processors that will enable a much needed class of mobile devices," commented Epan Wu, deputy director of Via's CPU product marketing. Apparently, the UMPC will not be an Intel-only game, but will offer a range of other companies that will push into the platform.
According to reports on UMPC prototypes shown at the CeBit tradeshow, lower power is one of the main features UMPCs will need. Some UMPCs apparently are running just 15 minutes per battery charge. The current promise is that commercial UMPCs will get about 3.5 hours of battery time, which is not only below the performance of full-fledged notebooks and much smaller Windows PDAs, but also well below the UMPC promise of 2005: Back then, the talk was about a 5-day standby time and an 8 hour continuous operating time.