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Report: VIA Working on a New x86 Chip

By - Source: 3DCenter.org | B 17 comments

If you haven't forgotten, you probably know that VIA still has access to an x86 license. Although they haven't made many x86 processors in recent years, the company is now working on a new unit.

A report which originates from 3DCenter.org tells us that VIA is working on its Isaiah II processor, which it hopes to announce before the end of August. The processor will be a low-power unit, where it is meant to compete with the low-power bay-trail platform from Intel as well as AMD's Kabini platform. No details are available of the units' TDP, though.

The Isaiah II CPU will come with four CPU cores that will run at 2.0 GHz. On-die there will also be 2 MB of L2 cache.

Processor

AMD Athlon 5350

Intel Atom Z3770

VIA Isaiah II

Frequency

2.05 GHz

1.46-2.39 GHz

2.0 GHz

Core Count

4 Cores

4 Cores

4 Cores

TDP

25 watt TDP

2 watt SDP

? watt

Processor Arithmetic

22.66 GOPS

15.1 GOPS

20.0 GOPS

Multimedia Processor

4.56 Mpix/s

25.9 Mpix/s

50.2 Mpix/s

Multi-Core Efficiency

4 GB/s

1.7 GB/s

3.1 GB/s

Cryptography

1.48 GB/s

0.4 GB/s

1.5 GB/s

Power Management Efficiency (ALU)

2.88 GIPS

2.5 GIPS

2.9 GIPS

Financial Analysis (high/double precision)

3.64 kOPTS

1.5 kOPTS

3.0 kOPTS

The two remaining bits of information that we are still missing pertain to the processor's TDP and price. Those aspects can mean the difference between this CPU will become a viable option for some people. It is interesting, though, to see VIA playing a role in the x86 market again.

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Add your comment Display 17 Comments.
  • -3 Hide
    nvllsvm , July 8, 2014 5:36 PM
    From past experiences with VIA: ahahahahaha!
  • 11 Hide
    Ian Mahaney , July 8, 2014 5:48 PM
    Completely forgot about VIA having an x86 license. If that TDP can stay under 10W though, they could have a real Intel beater here.
    New competition is always a good thing.
  • 0 Hide
    apache_lives , July 8, 2014 6:10 PM
    With VIA cpus comes rubbish VIA chipsets and drivers, and there late as usual and trying to produce something that doesnt offer ANY advantage over the competition

    NO THANKYOU
  • 5 Hide
    allenpan , July 8, 2014 6:48 PM
    actually VIA's Nano (Isaiah I) was very competitive with N270/N455/...etc right before the current generation of atom
  • 11 Hide
    CaedenV , July 8, 2014 6:56 PM
    When I was a kid I loved having access to great quality cheap VIA chipsets for my computer builds... but then that quality disappeared. Then VIA started making chips used in junk laptops, and their name became absolutely toxic. I understand that VIA still makes quite a few chips in a great many products... but few companies have gone from having as much respect to as much distain as VIA has. I wish them well, but it is going to take a long time of a good track record before I buy one of their products.
  • 3 Hide
    IInuyasha74 , July 8, 2014 7:51 PM
    Via used to be a very big name in motherboard chipsets. They still make USB controllers, sound card chipsets, and other chipsets. They aren't super high end units, but their stuff is usually quite cheap and gets the job done.

    For their CPUs, they chose to focus on a niche market years ago, and some people have bad feelings about them from that, but their units were meant for integrated solutions for special devices not general computing, and they can't help some bad computers were made with their CPUs.

    Like Ian said above, if they can give that kind of performance for around 5w TDP, and scale it up to a max of 25w like AMD's high end kabini chips then they could be a very viable option for making tablets and possible phones based SoCs and laptops.
  • 3 Hide
    ta152h , July 9, 2014 1:50 AM
    The buffoons are Tom's once again screw up something mentioning Kabini. Guys, give it up, you're not smart enough to talk about the subject. How about sticking to games and stuff you can understand? It's really irritating to have uninformed buffoons always denigrating the Jaguar/Puma architecture with their rabid incompetence.

    I'll give you a hint, the Kabini 5350's Multimedia performance was 47.56. Guess you missed that by more than an order of magnitude, huh? It didn't look strange to you? Didn't think to double check it? The editor that read it after didn't either? Again, you buffoons are smart enough to write about this stuff. How about talking about a joystick or something?

    Also, to clarify on VIA's x86 processors, they are actually an American team known as Centaur. They bought this company from another company that owned Centaur (IDT). They have always been in the business of making low cost processors that performed 'good enough', but keeping things very simple. They got more complex, and then AMD opened the boom on them with Bobcat, and now Jaguar. They've become irrelevant. Also, they announce products for years before they finally realize they aren't going to make it. That's an exaggeration, but not much of one. Don't waste your time waiting for their announced products, especially chipsets, because the are either very late, or never come out.

    One more thing to mention is, Kabini is now old hat for AMD. The numbers Tom's published, without making much mention of it, were supplied by VIA, and are comparing a processor over a year old, with one not currently available. The dolts at Tom's didn't figure it might be worth mentioning the Puma performs much better at low wattages, and it's available now. The fastest Puma outperforms the Kabini here by a good amount(mainly because of having a 'turbo' mode, while still coming in at a 15 watt TDP. Not that doubling the performance per watt would matter much, or be worth mentioning, right Tom's? At lower wattage, the performance per watt is even more exaggerated in favor of Puma, but that's not relevant to this article.
  • 1 Hide
    silverblue , July 9, 2014 3:10 AM
    The Isaiah II may bring Kabini's integer processing grunt along with Bay Trail's floating point power, making for a balanced chip. The addition of AVX2 is also very interesting, but will they opt for 256-bit registers or an AMD-style 2x128?

    I'm more curious as to the process node they'll be using; VIA has historically trailed here and by more of a gap than AMD. In addition, there's no mention of an iGPU, integrated north/southbridges or memory support.

    (apologies if this is a double-post)
  • 5 Hide
    memadmax , July 9, 2014 5:51 AM
    I suddenly got this big flashback to the 90's...

    I was happy for a few minutes then reality kicked back in...

    *Sigh*
  • 0 Hide
    velocityg4 , July 9, 2014 6:38 AM
    It would be epic if they brought back the x86 name. I suppose now it would be somewhere between 986 and 1286. I might just have to buy some cheap low end PC if it was a 1286 DX.
  • 1 Hide
    artk2219 , July 9, 2014 7:38 AM
    I was thinking about VIA a few days ago and how long it's been since they last introduced a new chip, honestly I thought they had dropped out of the market and to be honest that though made me kind of sad. Now I see this though and I cant wait to see something new from them. When they last introduced a new chip it was actually very competitive on the compute end (it was faster clock for clock than both Atom and Brazos), unfortunately it was saddled with VIA's far from impressive Chrome graphics (I would love to see the improvement on their graphics over the last few years). Their chip may be late but that doesn't mean there isnt a place for it, especially in the industrial and low power applications that theyre usually marketed for.
  • 2 Hide
    f-14 , July 9, 2014 7:39 AM
    Quote:
    The buffoons are Tom's once again screw up something mentioning Kabini. Guys, give it up, you're not smart enough to talk about the subject. How about sticking to games and stuff you can understand? It's really irritating to have uninformed buffoons always denigrating the Jaguar/Puma architecture with their rabid incompetence.

    I'll give you a hint, the Kabini 5350's Multimedia performance was 47.56. Guess you missed that by more than an order of magnitude, huh? It didn't look strange to you? Didn't think to double check it? The editor that read it after didn't either? Again, you buffoons are smart enough to write about this stuff. How about talking about a joystick or something?

    Also, to clarify on VIA's x86 processors, they are actually an American team known as Centaur. They bought this company from another company that owned Centaur (IDT). They have always been in the business of making low cost processors that performed 'good enough', but keeping things very simple. They got more complex, and then AMD opened the boom on them with Bobcat, and now Jaguar. They've become irrelevant. Also, they announce products for years before they finally realize they aren't going to make it. That's an exaggeration, but not much of one. Don't waste your time waiting for their announced products, especially chipsets, because the are either very late, or never come out.

    One more thing to mention is, Kabini is now old hat for AMD. The numbers Tom's published, without making much mention of it, were supplied by VIA, and are comparing a processor over a year old, with one not currently available. The dolts at Tom's didn't figure it might be worth mentioning the Puma performs much better at low wattages, and it's available now. The fastest Puma outperforms the Kabini here by a good amount(mainly because of having a 'turbo' mode, while still coming in at a 15 watt TDP. Not that doubling the performance per watt would matter much, or be worth mentioning, right Tom's? At lower wattage, the performance per watt is even more exaggerated in favor of Puma, but that's not relevant to this article.

    Quote:
    The buffoons are Tom's once again screw up something mentioning Kabini. Guys, give it up, you're not smart enough to talk about the subject. How about sticking to games and stuff you can understand? It's really irritating to have uninformed buffoons always denigrating the Jaguar/Puma architecture with their rabid incompetence.

    I'll give you a hint, the Kabini 5350's Multimedia performance was 47.56. Guess you missed that by more than an order of magnitude, huh? It didn't look strange to you? Didn't think to double check it? The editor that read it after didn't either? Again, you buffoons are smart enough to write about this stuff. How about talking about a joystick or something?

    Also, to clarify on VIA's x86 processors, they are actually an American team known as Centaur. They bought this company from another company that owned Centaur (IDT). They have always been in the business of making low cost processors that performed 'good enough', but keeping things very simple. They got more complex, and then AMD opened the boom on them with Bobcat, and now Jaguar. They've become irrelevant. Also, they announce products for years before they finally realize they aren't going to make it. That's an exaggeration, but not much of one. Don't waste your time waiting for their announced products, especially chipsets, because the are either very late, or never come out.

    One more thing to mention is, Kabini is now old hat for AMD. The numbers Tom's published, without making much mention of it, were supplied by VIA, and are comparing a processor over a year old, with one not currently available. The dolts at Tom's didn't figure it might be worth mentioning the Puma performs much better at low wattages, and it's available now. The fastest Puma outperforms the Kabini here by a good amount(mainly because of having a 'turbo' mode, while still coming in at a 15 watt TDP. Not that doubling the performance per watt would matter much, or be worth mentioning, right Tom's? At lower wattage, the performance per watt is even more exaggerated in favor of Puma, but that's not relevant to this article.


    i kind of thought those numbers looked rather flawed considering via's best chips were only 2/3's as powerful as the amd/intel worst solution and suffered heavily from an older bus speed that was roughly 1/3 of what those solutions were also as if they were licensing old bus architecture. that would make sense considering their finances.

    also Tom's has sort of gone the way of Via. they only display what they are paid to display nowdays. i take most of what is said as worthless bantering drivel as it's now the gossip channel (very fitting for a french news tabloid now). there isn't much of hardware news or tech depth or investigation into hardware any more. thomas is extremely difficult to replace it seems.
  • 1 Hide
    ulas , July 9, 2014 10:01 AM
    what has become of cyrix btw? I use to have a 486 dx2 66 ages ago...
  • 4 Hide
    IInuyasha74 , July 9, 2014 10:24 AM
    Quote:
    what has become of cyrix btw? I use to have a 486 dx2 66 ages ago...


    It also went to Via. Cyrix was purchased by National Semiconductor, who then had financial losses, slowly reduced the design team, and then sold Cyrix to Via. Via, who had already bought Centaur for their CPUs merged the two together. Sounds like it had the makings to do something great, but I have the feeling the loss of engineers and under funding the project lead to the rather low CPUs we have seen from them instead of the high end chips that could of been.

    Likely the problem was that Intel switched to a new socket and didn't allow other CPU manufacturers to use their socket, and AMD did the same. So to be competitive they would of had to make a new socket also and try to gain enough market share to be valuable would of been tough.
  • 2 Hide
    ethanolson , July 9, 2014 1:06 PM
    Wow. That's gonna be one super fast DOS machine.
  • 1 Hide
    knowom , July 10, 2014 4:18 PM
    The specs actually look good comparatively speaking especially the multimedia.
  • 0 Hide
    artk2219 , July 11, 2014 7:30 AM
    Quote:
    Quote:
    what has become of cyrix btw? I use to have a 486 dx2 66 ages ago...


    Likely the problem was that Intel switched to a new socket and didn't allow other CPU manufacturers to use their socket, and AMD did the same. So to be competitive they would of had to make a new socket also and try to gain enough market share to be valuable would of been tough.


    It especially would have been a problem when all of this shook out, back in the very competitive Athlon vs p3 and p4 days. Intel did take some pity on them and allowed them to use socket 370 for a while though, unfortunately the C3's were wholly inadequate when compared to anything else at the time. They did use much less power and come in awesome Tins though.
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