Feeds

IBM to fab next-gen VIA CPU

90nm process to take Esther beyond 2GHz

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

VIA will use IBM's 300mm East Fishkill wafer fab - the foundry already used to punch out CPUs for Apple and Nvidia, and soon Microsoft and Sony - to produce the next generation of its x86 processor family. The company will utilise Big Blue's 90nm silicon-on-insulator, low-k dielectric process.

The new chip core, officially dubbed the C5J and codenamed 'Esther', will be pitched at low-power applications - hence the interest in SOI. VIA said Esther will consume just 3.5W at 1GHz, but the chip is designed to clock to 2GHz and beyond.

Esther will build on the data security features of today's 130nm C3 chips, which accelerated AES encryption and provides a true random number generator. Esther will add RSA encryption (with Montgomery Multiplier support) and Secure Hashing (SHA-1 and SHA-256) acceleration, VIA said today.

The new chip will also support the No Execution (NX) feature of Windows XP Service Pack 2 that is intended to prevent code held in data-only memory blocks from being run. That's an approach taken by many viruses and worms. Microsoft hopes NX will severely curtail the threat from these rogue programs.

Esther will operate using an 800MHz frontside bus. It will include support for Intel's SSE 2 and 3 multimedia-oriented instruction sets. The chip will get a larger L2 cache. The C3 has 64KB of L2 - its designers have traditionally favoured a large, 128KB L1 cache. VIA didn't say how much larger the C5J's caches will be, but with a 90nm process there's room to beef it up considerably if they choose.

VIA did not provide availability information. ®

Related stories

VIA ups AMD chipset FSB to 1GHz
Transmeta pledges 'no execute' security support
Start-up touts x86, Wi-Fi as mobile gaming future
AMD sneaks out 90nm core in 130nm chip

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.