VIA announced its new processor architecture, code-named Isaiah.
The processor according to Centaur President Glenn Henry (Centaur is VIA's subsidiary CPU design company) has double or more the processing power of current generation C7 processors. The C7 VIA CPU is already available in the market and in use in many of the Ultra-mobile PC's and net-book devices such as the GIGABYTE U60 UMPC (reviewed here).
The truly remarkable feature of this new architecture is that it is drop-in compatible with current boards, offering double the performance, but at the same power (wattage) usage. This will mean current systems already being sold and used, can be re-aligned to contain the new Isaiah processor, giving the manufacturers two product SKU's for the design costs of one. See the clip below.
Intel on the other hand have shown Atom to be their new CPU to compete directly against VIA's C7 and recently announced that the entry-level desktop Atom 230 processor will sell for $29 USD each in thousand-unit tray quantities. Unfortunately Intel's design is not as convenient as the VIA upgrade, and requires a new chipset, design layout etc, so in effect costing developers and manufacturers more to make them, which of course means more cost for consumers. VIA claims the Isaiah will be competitive with "the competition" or as we speculate their meaning to be competitive with "the Atom" in terms of performance per watt and will exceed the Atom in performance per cost. We say only time will tell but the war is on and should be very interesting.
There are also rumours afoot that the Isaiah will have a dual-core version out very soon which will widen the gap from the Atom offerings. VIA could one up Intel this year.
This launch is days after speculation that Nvidia is looking to buy VIA's CPU subsidiary which you can read about here. We have since learned that Nvidia won't be buying out VIA, it was probably just a rumour mix up since VIA contacted Nvidia about making chipsets for its processors since VIA is pretty much finished up in the chipset business.
You can read more at the VIA website .