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What happened to VIA? Tablets, platforms and x86 v ARM

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rickysio 10th August 2010, 09:15 Quote
Will there be an Article on how to tase people when they enter your house? :D
Archandel 10th August 2010, 09:16 Quote
The "Next Step" obviously, is to build your own Nuclear Powered Exoskeleton Power Armor with a Terminator-a-like sidekick! And then go into space and battle with the Klingons for domination!
stonedsurd 10th August 2010, 09:34 Quote
I for one, love what VIA has done with low-power x86 solutions like the Nano. And enthusiasts are definitely warming up to their new direction (take a look at slipperyskip's projects, the massive amount of low-power hardware going into mods, either as controllers and the like or as the basis for the mod itsel)f. Atom rules the roost currently, so if i had a suggestion for VIA, it would be to get their products out there, market more aggressively. Fortune favors the brave.
r3loaded 10th August 2010, 09:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonedsurd
I for one, love what VIA has done with low-power x86 solutions like the Nano. And enthusiasts are definitely warming up to their new direction (take a look at slipperyskip's projects, the massive amount of low-power hardware going into mods, either as controllers and the like or as the basis for the mod itsel)f. Atom rules the roost currently, so if i had a suggestion for VIA, it would be to get their products out there, market more aggressively. Fortune favors the brave.

I agree, if VIA can raise enough for a strong marketing campaign, they should be able to kick Atom's ass with the Nano (I think only the Samsung NC20 has used a Nano processor so far).
frontline 10th August 2010, 09:52 Quote
Nice article.
flibblesan 10th August 2010, 10:14 Quote
Page 1, towards the bottom:
Quote:
BT: As the only company apart from AMD and Intel with x86 a license, that makes your IP extremely valuable - ever thought of selling it?

Shouldn't that be "with a x86 license"? ;)
Xir 10th August 2010, 10:22 Quote
Home automation...
...been promised for years, but nobody ever made it cheap.
For mass market, it needs to be open standard, exchangable and cheap.
I'd like to control all my appliances from an (android) phone, but not if i have to invest a fortune into every power outlet in the house.
julianmartin 10th August 2010, 10:47 Quote
Fascinating article, one of the best I've read from Bit in a long, long time.
crazyceo 10th August 2010, 10:49 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
Home automation...
...been promised for years, but nobody ever made it cheap.
For mass market, it needs to be open standard, exchangable and cheap.
I'd like to control all my appliances from an (android) phone, but not if i have to invest a fortune into every power outlet in the house.

I actually agree. As it stands today you can do all they said at the end of the topic. I'm sure someone can even automatically taser an intruder. Today the cost is huge but I can see ways to bring those costs down.

I recently wired the house using Cat6 cabling. I picked up 300 metres for £35 on eBay. Once I had floor boards up and laid out the plans, it was a really easy process. Now designing a home monitoring system wouldn't be that hard. The main problem being integration to existing appliances like the heating and hot water boiler, washing machine, jacuzzi etc. We know how useless the internet ready fridge freezers were but would the manufacturers take the risk on other appliances now?

Nice idea but I'm not sure it can be done....yet!

Other than that VIA appear to be dominating the far east and with China and India being two of the most densely populated countries, I'm sure this little train that could will be around for a long time.
BLC 10th August 2010, 11:07 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by flibblesan
Shouldn't that be "with a x86 license"? ;)

No, it should be: "with an x86 license". If you're going to be a pedant, then at least have the courtesy to get it right ;) :p

Quite liked this article; was a really good read. I've quite liked the way VIA has taken their product lines; I've been looking round at very small form-factor machines for some project ideas recently, and VIA products are always towards the top of my list. Plus more mainstream players in the ARM market can never be a bad thing.
Cobalt 10th August 2010, 11:56 Quote
Woo VIA! They do pretty interesting stuff, but like they said lots of it doesn't make it out of China.

I'd really like to see those small, low power platforms become more available. I'm responsible for all the computers in my extended family and I generally build them myself. A tiny PC running Linux would be lovely 'cause all anyone does is browse the web. The problem is that the small platform options seem to be just as expensive as building a cheap PC out of ordinary components. Getting mini/pico-ITX out of the niche market would be great.
Bindibadgi 10th August 2010, 12:11 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by julianmartin
Fascinating article, one of the best I've read from Bit in a long, long time.

Oh thank you, Sir. Should pass the thanks onto VIA too :)
stupido 10th August 2010, 12:35 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyceo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xir
Home automation...
...been promised for years, but nobody ever made it cheap.
For mass market, it needs to be open standard, exchangable and cheap.
I'd like to control all my appliances from an (android) phone, but not if i have to invest a fortune into every power outlet in the house.

I actually agree. As it stands today you can do all they said at the end of the topic. I'm sure someone can even automatically taser an intruder. Today the cost is huge but I can see ways to bring those costs down.

I recently wired the house using Cat6 cabling. I picked up 300 metres for £35 on eBay. Once I had floor boards up and laid out the plans, it was a really easy process. Now designing a home monitoring system wouldn't be that hard. The main problem being integration to existing appliances like the heating and hot water boiler, washing machine, jacuzzi etc. We know how useless the internet ready fridge freezers were but would the manufacturers take the risk on other appliances now?

Nice idea but I'm not sure it can be done....yet!

Other than that VIA appear to be dominating the far east and with China and India being two of the most densely populated countries, I'm sure this little train that could will be around for a long time.

I also wired my house with Cat6 cabling because I bought it unfinished. Actually I also did every thing else - electricity, central heating, water, ventilation...
Further more I'm mechatronics engineer specializing embedded systems and software, so I'm familiar with (home) automation stuff.
Few years (8+) ago I was working for a German company where I got familiar (actually talking to companies like Siemens, Bosch) with home automation market. From that experience I can judge that real automation as you describe will not happen any time soon - the problem is that the big manufacturers of home appliances are always trying to reduce costs but in general automation requires adding some costs; and for home usage automation doesn't really cuts it. I mean what can you automate on a fridge? Or oven? Coffee machine?
The only things that can somewhat benefit are more complex parts such as central heating burner. It can use for example internet to report defects or ask for maintenance. The same logic can apply for reading the electricity consumption and automatically report to you and your distributor. But in the electricity case for example the immediate questions are: who is going to supply the measuring equipment? Who will be responsible for the correctness of the reading - I mean it will require some certification process + acceptance on the customer side. So who should pay in the end for that?
So in general those are all concerns that are stopping this kind of automation...
javaman 10th August 2010, 13:11 Quote
The market is clearly heading towards gpu-cpu combined, I wonder if VIA have any plans to develop on the GPU side, merge with anothert company or just go for a deal with a graphics company producing half the package.
TomH 10th August 2010, 13:44 Quote
Via talk a lot about the embedded & mobile markets, which are heavily influenced by Linux development, yet they fail to have any form of decent, open-source GPU support, despite outlining a plan two years ago to remedy this.

It's such a shame, as they have so much potential for Linux-based applications. They won't be getting any more of my money until they do something about it, however.
WildThing 10th August 2010, 14:14 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by julianmartin
Fascinating article, one of the best I've read from Bit in a long, long time.

+1 Very interesting read.
Nexxo 10th August 2010, 17:45 Quote
I detect much fail. First, it shouldn't have been that hard to outcompete the Intel Atom by now with the Via Nano. Only Intel can make a low-power CPU and then combine it with a chipset that uses ten times the power (on motherboards, at least). A Nano motherboard solution would have been the obvious answer. Anyone seen any?

Tablets: same story. We have a £400,-- to £600,-- Apple iPad which people (reasonably) think is somewhat expensive, and too closed. Why aren't we inundated with ARM-based Android tablets yet, at a keen £250,-- to £300,-- price point? Oh that's right: Google doesn't support Android on tablets because it feels its baby isn't quite ready for the big time yet. Y'all just keep twiddling your thumbs, guys, while Apple cleans up shop.

Just because products are moving in China doesn't mean Via shouldn't be working harder on the Western market (it is richer, after all). To respond with a shrug when asked why ASUS does not use Via CPUs for its netbooks is complacency. What Via should be doing is hiring a bright young thing straight from Yanko Design world and make a real innovative, knock-your-socks-off value-for-money Tablet to make Apple's product look staid.
Furymouse 10th August 2010, 18:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nexxo
Quoth the Nexxo

Basically it reminds me of when AMD didn't capitalize on having the Athlon 64's. Complacency. Kinda bugs.

I do love classic VIA though. I still have my sy kt400 running in the closet :D Hopefully we see more of them going forward.
j_jay4 10th August 2010, 19:31 Quote
Really appreciate these interview articles, it shows Bit are going further than other tech websites to get the inside scoop and what can be more informative than an interview with the companies directors.
schmidtbag 10th August 2010, 21:49 Quote
i've never really had any issues with via. they make good stuff for incredibly cheap. of course you can't expect anything very high-end from them but if you're looking for middle-low end hardware i think its a great idea to use them. i'm working for ibm and i've noticed that there are a few cash registers that ibm makes that use via processors.

i really hope via starts developing more towards x86 so they can give people more options. we can have intel for high end products, amd for middle end products, and via for low end. unfortunately, most people aren't going to be intelligent enough to figure out thats how the companies operate and i'm sure this won't happen any time soon.

as a linux user, i wish other architectures would get more popular since i find x86 to become obsolete. 64 bit PPC and even SPARC (if it was kept up to date more often) are far superior to the capabilities of x86. i agree with via's strategy of sticking with arm for most of their products, because even arm has its advantages over x86.
Farfalho 10th August 2010, 22:13 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio
Will there be an Article on how to tase people when they enter your house? :D

+1 bring it on the article
javaman 10th August 2010, 23:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickysio
Will there be an Article on how to tase people when they enter your house? :D

Tasing them isn't the problem.......hiding the evidence that you done so or provide proof it was justified is where the article will have its weight in gold ;)
klutch4891 10th August 2010, 23:51 Quote
Great article, but now I want to buy a Via P820...
Xir 11th August 2010, 08:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by stupido

The only things that can somewhat benefit are more complex parts such as central heating burner. It can use for example internet to report defects or ask for maintenance. The same logic can apply for reading the electricity consumption and automatically report to you and your distributor.
Yeah, that's the kind of home automation big companies think of...but does Joe public care, and is he willing to pay for it?
Do I really care about my heating burner sending data to it's maker, or do I care that I can't remember if i've left the oven on?
Easy and cheap...
turn on or off the lights from afar. Maybe activate the sprinkler in the garden. Turn up the heater an hour before you get home. Open the garage door from my phone when i come home.
Cthippo 11th August 2010, 09:49 Quote
For myself, I think Via's low power stuff is the wave of the future. A year or so ago I built a file server based on a Via C7 board and aside from a couple of power outages and being taken off line for an upgrade, it's been happily running along 24/7, barely sipping power most of the time. It may not be the most powerful system on the planet, but it works perfectly for this application.

I'm even considering building something similar for my desktop. my current machine is a beast, dual Opteron 250s, dual 7800GTs, and it makes a pretty good space heater. What do I use it for? Web browsing, mostly, and watching movies streamed from the fileserver. I bet you I could do 98% of what I use my current machine for with a 1.5 Ghz Nano and an SSD. The power savings would doubtless justify it. There will always be a place for high end machines, but I'm not sure on my desk is one of them.
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