Via starts sampling faster x86 chip for laptops

New chips based on Via's Isaiah Architecture

Via Technologies is sampling what it's calling a faster x86 microprocessor for laptops and mobile Internet devices. The new chips are based on the company's new Isaiah Architecture.

The company has sent early release versions of the processors to vendors to try out, according to Glenn Henry, president of Centaur Technology, Via's chip design arm. The new x86 chip should go into production mid-year, he added.

"It's a totally new design," he said. "We started with a clean sheet of paper and designed it to be faster." Henry added that the chip is two to four times faster than Via's current C7 microprocessor.

The new chips will be built with the 65 nanometre manufacturing process.

The Isaiah Architecture, in development for about four years, has a 64-bit superscalar speculative out-of-order micro-architecture, high-performance multimedia computation, and a new virtual machine architecture, according to Henry. Out-of-order execution is a form of data flow computation that enables the processor to execute instructions more efficiently.

He also noted that the first x86 chips based on the Isaiah architecture will be pin-compatible with the C7 processors.

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