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Chipset targets digital media-oriented systems

Feb 26, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Via Technologies has launched a new core-logic chip aimed at “power-efficient” and “affordable” embedded and desktop systems. The CN896 pairs with Via's C7 and Eden processors, and includes 2D and 3D graphics accelerators, dual-simultaneous display support, and both 1- and 16-lane PCI Express.

Via says the CN896 supports its V4 inter-chip bus to 800MHz, for high speed connection to its C7 and Eden(V4) embedded processors, and C7-D desktop processors.

The CN896 also supports the company's PowerSaver feature, which automatically lowers or raises the processor's frequency and voltage depending on work load. Via claims this technology can reduce overall CPU power consumption by as much as 40 percent.

CN896 block diagram
(Click image for larger view)

The CN896 chipset integrates Via's Chrome9 HC IGP (integrated graphics processor), which includes both a 2D accelerator and a DirectX 9.0 3D accelerator. The Chromotion video display engine supports advanced hardware-based video processing and rendering, such as MPEG-2 decoding acceleration and picture enhancement, through adaptive de-interlacing and video deblocking technologies, according to Via.

The CN896 features a range of video functions, including analog CRT, DVI, and LVDS transmitters, and SDTV and HDTV encoders. Separate display engines allow two outputs to simultaneously display different information at different resolutions, pixel depths, and refresh rates; Via says this capability “greatly enhances” the display options for thin clients, industrial PCs, POS (point-of-sale) devices, digital signage, and other embedded products.

Other buses provided by the CN896 include both 1- and 16-lane PCI Express, and Via's V-link interface to the southbridge chip. The latter supports Via's VT8237S or VT8251 southbridges, both of which support four parallel ATA devices, and either two (VT8237S) or four (VT8251) serial ATA II devices.

Chewei Lin, Via's VP of product marketing, stated, “The VIA C7 processor-CN896 chipset combination provides all the flexibility in display options that embedded customers need, within a very low thermal profile.”

Pricing and availability were not disclosed.

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