Via upgrades C3 chip with low-power core

Chipset and motherboard manufacturerVia Technologies has upgraded its C3 processor with a new core, codenamed Nehemiah, which...

Chipset and motherboard manufacturerVia Technologies has upgraded its C3 processor with a new core, codenamed Nehemiah, which includes a random number generator integrated at the hardware level.

The processor will launch at 1.0GHz, and will process 3D media applications 70% faster than Via's existing Ezra core, said Via marketing director Richard Brown.

Via recently upgraded its Epia mainboard and will sell it coupled with the Nehemiah C3 to PC manufacturers as a complete platform.

Via C3 processors are selling in some of the least expensive PCs on the market from Microtel Computer Systems, available for around $200 (£124) to $300 on Walmart.com. The new processors will also target users looking to build home networks or customers in emerging markets such as China and India.

"PC product managers need new choices. They need to add significant value beyond just assembling PCs, and a lot of innovation is taking place in emerging markets," Brown said.

Rival PC chip makers Intel and Advanced Micro Devices are willing to let Via have that low end of the market, said Kevin Krewell, senior editor of the Microprocessor Report and general manager at market research company In-Stat/MDR. The new C3 processor will cost $45 in 1,000-unit quantities.

Via will scale the C3 Nehemiah processor up to 1.4GHz by the end of the year. A mobile version will be out around the end of the first quarter, and Brown at forthcoming Tablet PC announcement around the same time.

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