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VIA confirms March launch for Samuel II

1GHz Ezra/C5C coming later, 1.2GHz C5X coming later still

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VIA will debut the next version of its Cyrix III processor, based on the upcoming Samuel II core, next month, as predicted.

And the company confirmed and clarified what we've heard about Samuel II's successor, Ezra, also known by its internal codename, C5C.

Samuel II's codename was C5B. It adds 64KB of on-die L2 cache to the 128KB of on-die L1, a long-time feature of IDT/Centaur's WinChip CPUs, which VIA acquired a couple of years back. The part will ship at 750MHz, just above the 700MHz Cyrix III VIA sneaked out last month. 800MHz and 850MHz Samuel II-based parts will follow soon, the company said, and all three versions of the new chip will support 100MHz and 133MHz frontside bus speeds.

The new chips will be fabbed at 0.15 micron and will be smaller than the current 0.18 micron Cyrix IIIs, even though their transistor count is higher. Samuel II's successor, Ezra, will be fabbed at 0.13 micron (or, rather, 0.13 micron transistors made with a 0.15 micron process), allowing it not only to match Samuel II's clock speeds, but to exceed them, initially to 950MHz but ultimately taking the Cyrix III to 1GHz and beyond.

As predicted, Ezra will ship early Q3.

VIA is also planning Ezra's successor, currently known only as C5X. It will extend the chip's on-board L2 cache to 256KB and support Intel's Screaming Sindy Extensions. Samuel II only supports MMX and AMD's 3D Now! technology. C5X will be fabbed at 0.15 micron and offer speeds of up to 1.2GHz.

VIA also confirmed that its upcoming system-on-a-chip part, dubbed Matthew, is due for launch soon, though it's not saying precisely when. Our sources previously suggested Q2 2001, tying in nicely with VIA's official timeframe. Matthew merges the current Cyrix III with its Pro-133X controller and Savage 4 graphics chipsets. ®

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