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VIA launches mobile C3 processor

Antaur on tour

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VIA launched itself against Intel's Centrino mobile platform today when it unveiled Antaur, a mobile version of its C3 desktop processor.

We say 'mobile version' but we're really just talking about little more than a rebranded C3. The C3, particularly in its latest incarnations, based on the Nehemiah core, has been targeted at low-power applications, and VIA has often touted its strengths in fanless, zero-noise systems.

Antaur is based on PowerSaver 2.0 (trademark) technology, which "can reduce processor power draw by as much as 50 per cent to further extend battery life". However, the C3 consumes typically 11.25W at 1GHz (15W maximum), which are the same figures VIA quotes for the Antaur. This suggests it has PowerSaver 2.0, and VIA just hasn't mentioned it before.

Antaur extends that coverage to the 'thin and light' notebook sector. There's no reason why C3 can't be pitched at the same market, but perhaps its perception as a desktop chip has hindered sales to notebook makers. Either that, or VIA wants to take its love of trademarked technologies to new levels.

Like the C3, the Antaur is clocked at 1GHz. Like the C3, it includes PowerSaver, VIA's (trademarked) power conservation system, and is based on the Nehemiah 16-stage pipeline core's CoolStream (trademark) architecture featuring, StepAhead (trademark) branch prediction technology, a whopping 64KB of on-die L2 cache, the PadLock (trademark) data encryption engine and hardwired random number generator. Both chips support Intel's SSE multimedia instructions. Both are offered in EBGA packages.

Hopping on the Wi-Fi bandwagon, VIA touts Antaur's 802.11a, b and g support - provided a suitable adaptor is fitted into the Antaur-based notebook.

Antaur is shipping in volume now, VIA said. Notebooks based upon it are now on sale in China, and are expected to be available in Europe and the US during Q4. ®

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