VIA Nano 3000 to Fight Intel's Next Atoms

In the netbook space, Intel has a stranglehold on the low-power CPU choice with the Atom.

But it's not the only game in town. VIA since last year has offered the Nano CPU as an alternative, though it's not quite as energy miserly (but does come with more muscle).

Thus far, the Atom's been the processor of choice, but VIA today announced a new Nano that could change things. Now bumped up to the Nano 3000 Series processors, VIA's latest offering is based on the 64-bit superscalar ‘Isaiah’ architecture, which boasts flawless playback of high bit-rate 1080p HD video.

The VIA Nano 3000 also supports CPU virtualization technology, SSE4, and security capabilities integrated in the VIA PadLock Security Engine.

“With the VIA Nano 3000 Series, we are launching our fastest and most power-efficient processors yet,” commented Richard Brown, VP International Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. “Coupled with our market-leading digital media chipsets, they enable the richest experience across a broad range of mobile and all-in-one system designs.”

Available at speeds from 1 GHz to 2 GHz, Nano 3000 Series processors deliver up to 20 percent higher performance using up to 20 percent less power than current Nano processors.

The Nano 3000 Series processors should be easy to integrate into designs that already use the NanoBGA2 package, making them pin-to-pin compatible with a host of VIA processors, including the Nano 1000, Nano 2000, C7, C7-M and Eden.

VIA Nano 3000 Series processor samples are currently available for OEMs and motherboard vendors, and will enter mass production in Q1 2010. Hopefully we'll see some designs at CES 2010.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • cyberkuberiah
    if it can playback 1080p by itself without Ion , it could help in cheaper netbooks , the instruction set is vast and rich.
  • tipoo
    zingamMonocore atom CPU are suitable only to browse the web or watch youtube "while you make the toilet"... :]Making a toilet requires alot of concentration. Using one however...
  • hellwig
    I like Via. My netbook is running a C7 (and linux, so lack of power isn't a big concern). When they introduced the Nano I was hoping for a decent selection of new netbooks, but I guess Intel's weaker, but cheaper, Atom was too big of a draw. Of course, my next portable will probably be a more fully-featured laptop, perhaps this new Nano will get me close enough, assuming Intel doesn't just buy off more OEMs. Oops, sorry, according to Tuan, those are market incentives, not payoffs.
  • pbrigido
    Considering the Atom has to rely on Nvidia's Ion to crunch out 1080P, having a SOC that may be able to perform the function of the Atom and Ion is actually impressive...especially from Via.
  • rooket
    Via? lol why'd I even click on this article. If AMD stepped up to the plate, things would be interesting. Still, competition is good.
  • gsacks
    Via (and Cyrix before them) have always promised big and delivered meh in the CPU arena. Same goes for the S3 video that accompanies most Via cpus. I had an Via epia motherboard, and it was underwhelming to say the least. I hope they can come through this time. I like pulling for the underdog. But I'll believe it when I see it.
  • well,it seems they would utterly lose if they don't have a graphics chip integrated on the CPU!

    They are going to try to beat the Intel 2chip solution with a VIA 3 chip solition?
  • megamanx00
    A little late, but better late than never. It's a shame that VIA hasn't put much into S3 lately. I mean really even the latest chromes they pair with it only have like 4 ROPs and 32 unified shaders. Of course, its still miles better than IGP they pair with the Atom :D.
  • Ehsan w
    rooketVia? lol why'd I even click on this article. If AMD stepped up to the plate, things would be interesting. Still, competition is good.
    I don't think AMD has too much money to get into anything else right now....
  • matt87_50
    cool! go competition!