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Via boosts fanless Eden processors to 1.5 GHz

Jan 17, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Via Technologies is shipping a family of x86 embedded processors boasting maximum TDP (thermal design power) of 7.5 Watts at 1.5 GHz, and idle power of 0.5 Watt. The new Eden processors are fabbed in 90 nm technology, and are built into 21×21 mm nanoBGA2 packages.

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Previously available Eden processors could be clocked at only 1GHz before reaching a TDP of 7 Watts. Seven Watts is sometimes considered to be the highest practical TDP for passively cooled designs.

The newest Eden and Eden ULV processors incorporate the company's V4 bus interface, said to deliver “an average performance increase of more than 30 percent across industry benchmarks over previous Eden processor generations, while maintaining the signature fanless operation through enhanced power efficiency, to ensure no active cooling is required,” according to Via. The new processors boast “competitive write bandwidth and linear ordering modes,” as well as MMX, SSE2, and SSE3 support for “enhanced multimedia performance,” as well as 128 KB of both L1 and L2 on-chip cache.

The incredible shrinking processor die

Via says its PadLock Security Engine is integrated in the new Eden processor, providing on-chip hardware acceleration for key cryptographic operations with negligible impact on processor performance. In addition to the quantum-based random number generator (RNG) and AES Encryption Engine provided in the previous processor generation, the new generation adds SHA-1 and SHA-256 hashing for secure message digests, and a hardware based Montgomery Multiplier supporting key sizes of up to 32K in length, to accelerate public key cryptography such as RSA. It also provides execute protection (NX) to protect against malicious software such as worms and viruses, Via says.

The new processors are “fully compatible with all leading operating systems,” according to Via, and are available in a range of speeds targeting different vertical market segments such as thin clients, silent desktops, IPCs and set-top boxes, according to the company.

“To be able to offer processor speeds up to 1.5GHz within such a low power envelope is a remarkable advance for the x86 market, placing us clearly ahead of the competition and enabling more powerful embedded and silent systems,” said Richard Brown, vice president of corporate marketing.

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