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Via processor upgrade targets 'digital home'

Posted: 24 May 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:via technologies? x86? processor core? c5j? esther?

Via Technologies Inc. tipped details of its next-generation x86 processor core targeted at small, mobile consumer electronics devices and notebook PCs that will populate the new "digital home," a concept that has become the PC industry's latest theme.

The C5J core, code named "Esther," is made using IBM's 90nm SOI process, allowing Via to push clock speed to 1GHz and maintain a similar thermal profile while reducing power consumption to 3.5W. Heat dissipation is a key metric for Via, which boasts that its processors are some of the coolest in the industry, allowing systems that use them to be fan-free.

"The new architecture of the C5J Esther core will allow us to ramp up processor speeds to 2GHz and above within the same thermal design points as previous cores, opening up new markets for our processors and extending the reach of the x86 architecture into new device categories," said Glenn Henry, president of Centaur Technology, the subsidiary of Via that handles processor design.

The new core also builds on Via's past efforts at providing on-chip security functionality, including its hardware-based random number generator and a cryptography engine.

Additions to Esther include execution (NX) protection, Montgomery Multiplier support for RSA encryption and secure Hash (SHA-1 and SHA-256) algorithms. The features will enable the processor to better guard against viruses and to speed up e-commerce transactions by accelerating RSA encryption.

- Mike Clendenin

EE Times

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