Via unveils world's smallest mobile chip

It may be aimed at the low end, but Via has taken the high ground with its shift to the cutting-edge 0.13-micron manufacturing process
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor

Via Technologies this week unveiled a mobile version of its Via C3 processor line, based on the advanced 0.13-micron manufacturing process, which reduces power consumption and increases speed. The new technology also significantly reduces production costs, which should mean lower prices for consumers and businesses.

The chip was unveiled on Tuesday at Taiwan's Computex trade show. Based on the 0.13-micron manufacturing process from Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), it boasts the world's smallest die size and lowest power consumption. Intel and AMD, the two largest microprocessor makers, are shifting from 0.18 micron to 0.13 micron this year.

Intel's first 0.13-micron processors are due in July, while AMD said this week it will begin the shift in the fourth quarter of 2001 and complete the move to 0.13-micron by the end of next year.

Via is better known as a chipset maker, and chipsets account for most of its business. Its processors are generally aimed at the lower end of the market, particularly third-world countries with low price points, but the chips have yet to prove themselves to industry observers.

The mobile C3 runs at 800MHz and includes 128kB of Level 1 cache, 64kB of Level 2 cache, and supports a 100/133MHz front side bus, as well as Intel's MMX and AMD's 3DNow! multimedia instructions.

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