IBM to produce 90nm chips for Via

Via Technologies' C7 and C7-M (mobile) chips, based on the Esther processor core, will be produced by IBM using a 90nm process.

Via Technologies' C7 and C7-M (mobile) chips, based on the Esther processor core, will be produced by IBM using a 90nm process.

The desktop microprocessors will ship in volume during the first half of next year, said Richard Brown, Via's associate vice-president of marketing.

The 90nm process will allow Via to produce faster chips that require less power.

The company expects that C7 chips with a clock speed of 2GHz that consume the same amount of power as the company's current C3 processors, which are based on the Nehemiah core.

C3 processors consume a maximum of about 18 watts at a clock speed of 1.2GHz, according to the company's website.

The C7 will also include support for a faster 800MHz front-side bus and a larger Level 2 cache.

It extends Via's PadLock Hardware Security Suite to include execution (NX) protection, which prevents malicious code from a worm or virus propagating through a PC's memory.

NX protection is supported by Microsoft Corp.'s Windows XP Service Pack 2.

Via plans to continue selling its C3 processor after the introduction of the C7, and has renamed the mobile version of the C3, now calling it C3-M.

Sumner Lemon writes for IDG News Service

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