Hewlett-Packard may be the only brand-name PC maker to offer all three of the world’s major x86 processors in its desktops. That’s right. All three. HP, in China, has launched a dx2020 desktop that incorporates VIA Technologies’ C7-D processor, News.com’s Michael Kanellos has written.
VIA, which established itself in the x86 business by buying Cyrix from National Semiconductor and purchasing IDT’s WinChip business, has typically been a distant third in the processor race. For a time, Transmeta challenged VIA for the third spot. But Transmeta never achieved the broad adoption that it had hoped for. VIA has kept plugging away, however. The chipmaker is best-known for its chipsets. However, its C7 processor line has caught on in some areas. One of those areas is in low-price notebooks. Several manufacturers have adopted the C7-M for their machines. Wal-Mart, for one, is offering an Everex StepNote notebook with a 1.5GHz C7-M for $498.
Many enthusiasts also use VIA’s Epia motherboards, which come complete with a processor and are 12cm by 12cm and smaller, to create custom desktops. Some of my favorites are a helmet-PC and a toaster PC. This is could be the first time a brand-name corporate desktop has offered a VIA processor in some time, if not ever. (I am not aware of any other corporate desktops that use VIA processors, but I expect others are out there somewhere.) Will HP create a trend with its dx2020? It remains to be seen. One thing is for sure. PC makers are offering small, low power desktops for markets such as China in an effort to differentiate.