VIA’s Isaiah CPU can play Crysis

Written by Tim Smalley

January 24, 2008 | 11:37

Tags: #architecture #cpu #crysis #generation #isaiah #play #processor

Companies: #next #via

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.

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