VIA’s Isaiah CPU can play Crysis

VIA’s Isaiah CPU can play Crysis

A flow diagram of VIA's new Isaiah CPU architecture.

It feels like it has been a long time since we’ve heard anything noteworthy out of VIA, but things could be about to change this year, as the company unveiled its new Isaiah CPU architecture in Austin, Texas just yesterday.

According to Glenn Henry, President of Centaur Technology – a wholly owned subsidiary of VIA, the upcoming CN processor is two to four times the speed of the current VIA C7 processors at the same clock speed whilst remaining in the same thermal envelope.

Built on a 65nm process, with fab support from Fujitsu, IBM and TSMC, the Isaiah-based ‘CN’ processor has a die size of 60mm² and a transistor count of just 94 million. The architecture behind the chip was built from the ground up and is a superscalar and speculative out-of-order design – we’ll be covering the architectural details in a later article once a few of our questions have been answered.

Kyle Bennett, Editor-in-Chief of HardOCP, was at the launch event and was most impressed with the processor’s ability to run Crysis at a 1.8GHz clock speed. “While I am not going to go out of on [sic] a limb and say it was the best Crysis experience you might have, there is no doubt that this low power “UMPC” processor was more than up to the task that I would never ever guessed possible on a VIA/Centaur CPU,” he said.

VIA says that it expects to ship processors based on the Isaiah architecture in the first half of this year. Pricing hasn’t been revealed yet, but we suspect that they will be available to system builders and OEMs at similar price points to existing C7 processors.

We've included a video interview with Glenn Henry below, in which he describes some of the benefits of VIA's new architecture. Do you think this could be a good thing for the UMPC market? My one concern is that, with the advent of the Mobile Internet Device at CES, I can't help but think that the UMPC is left a little redundant. That said, I could see this CPU being used in an equivalent to the hugely successful Asus Eee PC.

Share your thoughts on VIA's new processors in the forums


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chicorasia 24th January 2008, 12:03 Quote
Could Via be the new AMD?

Of course, they still have a long way to go to become a full-fledged CPU manufacturer, but they seem to be going the right way...
DXR_13KE 24th January 2008, 12:32 Quote
i wonder how these compare to other manufacturers in terms of speed/price/electric bill.....
p3n 24th January 2008, 12:45 Quote
Would be nice to have another proper desktop CPU, to force intel to actually keep innovating instead of just riding infront of AMDs slow and jittery curve.
TreeDude 24th January 2008, 13:23 Quote
Paired with an 3450 and a WD green HD and it sounds like you would have a very nice low power media center PC. I will be keeping my eye on these.
Kamakazie! 24th January 2008, 13:38 Quote
Originally Posted by TreeDude
Paired with an 3450 and a WD green HD and it sounds like you would have a very nice low power media center PC. I will be keeping my eye on these.
I said the exact same thing over at Hexus except without the WD drive... i'd put a nice 8gb SSD in there for the OS too :)
Nix 24th January 2008, 14:52 Quote
If i remember correctly wasnt Intel trying to force them out of the CPU market by only renewing their license to make chipsets for Intel CPU's (a lot of via's revenue comes from this).

Im glad theyre still in the game and it would be great for a 3rd party to get into the CPU manufacturing industry. Will mean only good things for us the consumer.

This chip does look really nice, and i really like the fact that theyve kept the same pin configuration so its compatible with the previous CPU's. If VIA did become a serious CPU player and they kept this mantra that they would keep pin configurations for longer, i can see them selling a lot of CPU's... especially where office PC's and the like are concerned as if makes them more future proof then the competition.
Tyinsar 24th January 2008, 18:45 Quote
I've said it before but:
Intel + Intel
Via + Nvidia? It would be interesting to see what they could do for each other.
zhangmaster12 24th January 2008, 20:09 Quote
hmmm is this better than core 2 mobile lineup?

man i really hope amd makes it back :\
Kipman725 24th January 2008, 23:23 Quote
if the perforamance figures are acurate that means that there fastest CPU's are now fast enough for me :O some very neat design work done by the centar people. I wonder what kind of price premium there will be over the C7?
DXR_13KE 28th January 2008, 22:40 Quote
i wonder if they will fit these into their pico itx platforms.......
Tyinsar 28th January 2008, 23:36 Quote
Originally Posted by DXR_13KE
i wonder if they will fit these into their pico itx platforms.......
imagine that with a 16x PCIe slot and a 3870 X2 :)
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