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VIA C4 to hit 2GHz during 2H 2002

New core to target multimedia

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VIA will take its x86-compatible processor line to 2GHz and beyond during the second half of 2002 with Esther (the latest of its biblically inspired codenames), the second chip to sport the C4 brand.

Little is known about the newest addition to VIA's roadmap, but VIA Hardware has been able to glean the following information: Esther's core is called the C5Y and that it will be a 0.1 micron part.

Esther will be the successor to the already-roadmapped Nehemiah, aka the C5X, or the VIA C4, to give it its new official name. Nehemiah will be fabbed at 0.13 micron and debut during Q4. It will ship at 1.2GHz.

The C4's is based on a new core based around a 17-stage instruction pipeline, an increase on the C3's 12-stage pipeline, done to achieve the higher clock speed. As we've reported before, the C4 will contain 128KB of L1 cache and 256KB of L2.

More importantly, it will add two SIMD units compatible with Intel's SSE instructions. That's apparently part of VIA's plan to shift its processors up a gear to make them fit more closely with the PC as digital entertainment centre concept that world+dog is espousing right now. It will also soup up its multimedia performance.

In the meantime, VIA's next C3, aka the C5C, aka Samuel 3, aka Ezra, is due to ship next quarter at 900MHz, eventually reaching 1.1GHz. Like the current C3, it will contain 128KB of L1 cache and 64KB of L2. It's a 0.13 micron part. ®

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