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Via touts lowest-power dual-core CPU, but keeps numbers a secret

Mar 1, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 10 views

Via Technologies announced a new chip it claims is the world's most power-efficient dual-core processor. The Eden X2 runs fanlessly, is compatible with 64-bit instructions, offers an out-of-order x86 architecture, and provides hardware-based data encryption, the company says.

Via says its Eden X2 (right) is pin-to-pin compatible with its previous Eden, C7, and Nano E-Series processors. Thanks to 40nm fabrication, however, the 21 x 21mm package (right) now has room for dual cores, according to the company.

The Eden X2 is touted with no ifs, ands, or buts as "the industry's lowest-power dual-core processor." Unfortunately, Via doesn't back up that claim with any numbers regarding either power consumption or clock speed.

It's also less than clear how the Eden X2 relates to the dual-core Nano X2 that Via announced — again, without power consumption details — in January. The Eden and Nano used to be distinguished by the fact that the former uses in-order execution (like Intel's Atom), designed for the lowest power and size requirements, whereas the latter uses out-of-order execution, similar to Intel's Core architecture.

But Via now says that the Eden X2, too, uses out-of order x86 architecture as well as "high-performance superscalar processing." Like the Nano X2, the new chip is also said to support Via's VT virtualization technology. We're not told what level of Intel SSE instruction set extensions is supported, however.

A continuing point of pride for Via is its PadLock security engine, once again featured on the Eden X2. Offered at least since the 2003 introduction of the Eden-N, PadLock offers hardware-based Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) functionality, and imposes significantly less overhead than software-based encryption, according to the company.

Daniel Wu, vice president of Via's embedded platform division, stated, "Eden X2 shows how once again VIA is setting the pace when it comes to highly optimized, power-efficient processing. Embedded developers will relish the opportunity to integrate a native 64-bit, dual-core processor in passively cooled, ultra stable systems."

Further information

According to Via, the Eden X2 will be compatible with operating systems such as Linux, Windows Embedded Standard 7, and Windows CE. The chip is sampling now, and complete products featuring it will be available during the second quarter, the company adds.

Further information may be found on the Eden X2 product page. The processor is on show at this week's Embedded World event in Germany (Hall 12, Booth 574), according to Via.

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