VIA announces 'world's most power-efficient' dual-core CPU

Written by Clive Webster

March 4, 2011 // 1:14 p.m.

Tags: #40nm #compatibility #eden-x2 #features #low-power #low-power-hardware #power-draw #specs #speeds #ulv #via-eden

VIA has just announced its new Eden X2 CPU, which it claims is the ‘world’s most power-efficient dual-core processor.

While no power-consumption figures are available yet, Engadget points out that the previous Eden ULV was clocked at 500MHz, but consumed just 1W of power under full load and an incredible 0.1W when idle, so the new chip should be similarly prudent when it comes to power. Other Eden ULV processors are clocked at 1GHz (with a power draw of up to 3.5W) and at 1.5GHz (with a power draw of up to 7.5W).

The Eden X2 isn’t a trivial announcement, as it runs the x86 instruction set and so can be used with a wide range of software. However, according to VIA, the new CPU is ‘optimised for fanless implementation in a broad range of industrial and commercial embedded systems,’ so don’t expect it to tear through any benchmarks.

For those kinds of uses, the ‘component longevity guarantee of 7 years’ will no doubt be reassuring, as will VIA's claims that the Eden X2 ‘guarantees rock-solid stability for mission critical systems without compromising on performance and features.

Unlike previous Eden processors, the Eden X2 uses a new 40nm manufacturing process, rather than the 90nm process used to make its previous CPUs. The Eden X2 uses a superscalar design with out-of-order execution and is compatible with 64-bit instructions; it also includes VIA's VT virtualisation instructions and the VIA AES Security Engine for hardware-based data encryption.

Daniel Wu, vice president of VIA’s embedded platform division, said that ‘embedded developers will relish the opportunity to integrate native 64-bit, dual-core processors in passively cooled, ultra stable systems.’ This may well be true, as the new Eden X2 is pin-compatible with previous Eden processors and is also compatible with x86 operating systems such as Windows Embedded Standard 7, Windows CE and Linux.

Are you pleased to hear about such a power-efficient x86 processor, or do you think ARM is the better architecture for low-power devices? Let us know your thoughts in the forums.

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