Intel Atom rival Via Nano ships; larger Netbooks on the way

Via Technologies, the Intel-compatible chipmaker says larger Netbooks are on the way. In an interview, Glenn Henry, the head of Via Technologies subsidiary Centaur Technology, said that Via has just begun commercial shipments of its Intel-compatible, power-sipping Nano processor. Centaur headed up development of the Nano processor. Henry said there is a lot of demand for […]

Via Technologies, the Intel-compatible chipmaker says larger Netbooks are on the way. In an interview, Glenn Henry, the head of Via Technologies subsidiary Centaur Technology, said that Via has just begun commercial shipments of its Intel-compatible, power-sipping Nano processor. Centaur headed up development of the Nano processor.

Henry said there is a lot of demand for larger form factors. "Everyone wants to build a (Netbook) of some variety these days. Most of the interest we see from customers is for a larger screen than the HP (2133). There's a lot of demand to move those things up to higher screen sizes. I've heard customers say they want to build 12- or 13-inch notebooks," Henry said.

Via's most illustrious customer is Hewlett-Packard, which currently uses the older Via C7 processor in its 2133 Mini-Note PC.

There is one crucial difference with the Atom. Nano has a thermal envelope of 5 watts at 1GHz. Though this is low compared with a standard Intel Core 2 mobile processor (typically drawing 25 watts to 35 watts), this is higher than Intel's single-core Atom chip for netbooks which tops out at just 2 watts. At 1.3GHz, Nano has a thermal envelope of 8 watts, approaching that of Intel's dual-core Atom.

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