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VIA to take C3 into Tualatin territory

Pin-compatible version coming

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VIA has hit on an interesting scheme to leverage Intel's plan to phase out the Pentium III processor sooner rather than later: offer a version of its own x86-compatible C3 chip that's pin-compatible with the 0.13 micron Intel Tualatin CPU.

VIA's next C3 revision, codenamed Ezra, is due to ship this quarter. Ezra is fabbed at 0.13 micron and contains 128KB of L1 cache and 64KB of L2. The chip is expected to debut at 850MHz, with 950MHz and 1GHz parts due later in the year.

So far, so well known. However, Web site Xbit Labs adds an interesting addition to the Ezra line: a version that supports the FC-PGA 2 processor connection socket. The upshot: Ezra will be pin-compatible with Intel's Tualatin.

So, as Tualatin disappears from suppliers' catalogues, VIA can offer a compatible alternative. It also allows it to remain a viable alternative to next year's Celerons, which will also ship with FC-PGA 2 pin-outs. ®

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