Thursday, January 3rd 2008

VIA Focuses on Own CPUs

VIA Technologies, a firm which is probably best known for producing chipsets for AMD and Intel motherboards, has merged its CPU and chipset divisions to allow it to focus on supporting its own brand CPUs. This is according to the Chinese Apply Daily, which says the company plans to slowly phase-out development of chipsets for third-party products, although it will continue to support both its AMD chipsets and any older Intel chipsets not affected by patent issues. The firm has not yet completely given up on negotiations with Intel to acquire a patent contract, but it certainly seems to have its sights set on bigger things with its CPUs.Source: DIGITIMES
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25 Comments on VIA Focuses on Own CPUs

#2
Solaris17
Creator Solaris Utility DVD
now here are the 3 options im trying to choose from either

1.It will come out to be some low rate underpreforming chip like cyrix
2.come out with a mad fast not compatible with anything mainstream like sparc
3.actually come out with something like intel and amd's chips.
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#3
Polaris573
Senior Moderator
Why would they stop producing the product they sell the most of? That's a bold risk.
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#4
Solaris17
Creator Solaris Utility DVD
ya +1 on that seems like they really think they have something or arent worrying about money..i think its a really bad idea.
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#5
Morgoth
Does this means we can chose from 3 brands? intel, amd, via ?
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#6
Solaris17
Creator Solaris Utility DVD
lol id get a via just to see what i could do with it id be like your NB's take 90C how high can i get this to go!
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#7
Jimmy 2004
by: Morgoth
Does this means we can chose from 3 brands? intel, amd, via ?
It's not clear that they are focusing on CPUs for the PC market - they could potentially be for things more like mobile phones and PDAs. But it they are for the PC market, then things could get very interesting... and very confusing. Unless it goes to Intel vs VIA, which is looking possible unless AMD picks up.
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#8
WhiteLotus
or AMD could just buy them up, and dedicate chip sets and CPU and graphics.
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#9
Morgoth
amd sould stop buying crap! i realy like to see via in pc marketing cpu's this gives more a bost for intel and amd to fight with :D (lower prices, faster cpu's ect ect ect )
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#10
Jizzler
Gotta do something... back in the day VIA-brand boards with integrated cpus were the smallest, most power efficient setups you could buy - and cheap too! Today board cost is pretty high, with some of them in the $250 area. Hard to go that route when a low-power Athlon X2 and mATX motherboard can had for half that. Will be a little bigger (mATX vs mITX), and a little more power hungry, but will spank the C7 in performance.
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#11
jocksteeluk
The best way for Via to go is to license and utilise the cell processor, that would be the easiest way to challenge both Intel and AMD.
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#12
DanTheBanjoman
Señor Moderator
by: craigwhiteside
i knew via would come back :D
They never left. C7-D boards were released 1.5 months ago. The chip itself isn't that old either. It's Transmeta that left.

As for the VIA products, they're aimed at the low power market, not performance.


@solaris, the C7 was the successor to the C3 which was named Cyrix III before. It's the same product.

In fact, AMD's first Geodes were relabeled Cyrix MediaGX chips as well. And Cyrix used to perform quite decently in its days. Only the last generations were crap, ie the once that faced the later generation Pentiums. But in that respect AMD was a joke as well, so it's rather unfair to call Cyrix low rate underperforming chips. Unless you wish to apply the same logic to AMD. Besides, after the S7 days they made a few SS7 chips and then VIA turned them into low power S370 things in which they did their job well. Sure they offered relatively low performance but they could be cooled passively and later even run in dual setups.

Even funnier, just like people call AMD innovative nowadays Cyrix was way ahead, the MediaGX chips had sound and video in the CPU. Now that's innovation.
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#13
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
maybe this will work out well and we will see some dual core PDAs :roll:
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#14
Completely Bonkers
If you want to build a NAS, take a look at VIA mini ITX platform. Nice, low power, silent solutions, happy running a Windows Desktop/Office too. Just forget 3D or power apps. But for NAS or terminal devices, they are fine.
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#15
unsmart
I don't think VIA has ever had there own CPU architecture it's always licensed form Intel. Like the page said they haven't given up on licensing from Intel yet. If they do enter the desktop market I think it will be for media centers and web/office systems but how knows they do have kinda deep pockets and a of lot partners to work from.
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#16
AddSub
VIA is irrelevant, and has been for a while as far as anything serious is concerned. Sure they produce some low-power stuff aimed at a specific segment of the consumer market, but I doubt they are going to able to go back to the days when their KT266A chipset surprised everyone with it's low cost and relatively great performance. Anytime soon that is. Them days are over. As for their CPUs? In the desktop and laptop market they are pretty much done, out priced and outperformed by their competition and it's too late for them to make any progress in the cell-phone/PDA arena. They IS dun!

A walk down memory lane:
http://www.tomshardware.com/2001/09/02/accelerating_athlon/
or AMD could just buy them up, and dedicate chip sets and CPU and graphics.
Nice idea in theory, but AMD is cash strapped at the moment, and besides VIA has nothing to offer. I mean nothing at all. Kind of sad when you think about it.
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#17
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
Unofficial but open industry secret:

Intel: Stop making CPU or we'll cut your design patents for making chipset for our processors
VIA: FO!
Intel: Huh!?

VIA has been a brilliant chipset maker and an equally viable CPU maker...just because we don't see them on Newegg doesn't mean they don't exist. Tey very much do and their low-cost, low-power processors in the nano-BGA package find immense application in embedded systems environments. Their prioritising on CPU production is just indicating that they are willing to expand from the market that are selling these processors. They're just playing it safe and not making statements on what they're making after they fumbled in making the S3 Chrome S27 (A powerful graphics processor that wasn't good enough to face NVidia or ATI but was powerful nonetheless). Acquiring the likes of Centaur and Cyrix they do have a decent team of engineers, just that if Intel is not willing to license them the latest SIMD instruction sets they can always work with AMD. VIA is not a company you can write off, they've made enough money selling IEEE 1394 controllers to high-end motherboard vendors. They're the single company that kept AMD alive after ALi went down and before NForce took over.
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#18
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
by: AddSub
VIA is irrelevant, and has been for a while as far as anything serious is concerned. Sure they produce some low-power stuff aimed at a specific segment of the consumer market, but I doubt they are going to able to go back to the days when their KT266A chipset surprised everyone with it's low cost and relatively great performance. Anytime soon that is. Them days are over. As for their CPUs? In the desktop and laptop market they are pretty much done, out priced and outperformed by their competition and it's too late for them to make any progress in the cell-phone/PDA arena. They IS dun!
just to point this out to you via chipsets are more popular than the nforce ones currently to every bargain looker out there and if you look at reviews performance wise via is not slower than even the highest end nforce/amd chipsets the only quip about them is lack of CF/SLi support

anyone remember PT880? it outperfromed i865PE in every test but one. source

how about K8T800 PRO? it outperformed Nforce3 250GB in most tests yet again source

how about K8M890? performs with the current 580X/590SLi boards source

funny all of its competitors boards cost what 4X as much sometime 5X or 6X as much?

oh yea they are jus terrible when you want to spend the least you can for the fastest board you can afford.
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#19
suraswami
Only bad thing about K8M890 is they don't have the PCI freq lock. So they lack in Overclocking. Otherwise they are very fast in certain applications like database. I had Via and Nforce 2 boards during K7 days and Via boards perform faster when running SQL queries.
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#20
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
by: suraswami
Only bad thing about K8M890 is they don't have the PCI freq lock. So they lack in Overclocking. Otherwise they are very fast in certain applications like database. I had Via and Nforce 2 boards during K7 days and Via boards perform faster when running SQL queries.
if you find the PLL you can use clockgen to lower it and oc higher, but yea the lack of a bus lock is annoying though i have seen some locked through mods
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#21
Polaris573
Senior Moderator
by: cdawall

anyone remember PT880? it outperfromed i865PE in every test but one. source
I remember the PT880. I had an Abit VT7 motherboard based on that chipset. When I switched to an 865PE based board I had to overclock quite a bit further in order to tie with it in benchmarks. Even after overclocking the 865PE couldn't beat the PT880 in memory bandwidth benchmarks. It was a very good chipset.
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#23
cdawall
where the hell are my stars
by: Polaris573
I remember the PT880. I had an Abit VT7 motherboard based on that chipset. When I switched to an 865PE based board I had to overclock quite a bit further in order to tie with it in benchmarks. Even after overclocking the 865PE couldn't beat the PT880 in memory bandwidth benchmarks. It was a very good chipset.
im looking at gettin an ASRock 775Dual-VSTA or 4CoreDual-SATA2 PT880 and a PD 930 :D that will be a nice upgrade for my s754 system

i already have the PD for those of you reading this wanting to tell me to get a C2D and have had it for a while now
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#24
AddSub
funny all of its competitors boards cost what 4X as much sometime 5X or 6X as much?
Not really. I'm assuming you are referring to the low end market, I mean this is VIA we are talking about. You can pick up a cheapo nForce4 socket 754 based motherboard for about $20 nowadays and it will pretty much outperform anything VIA can throw at it in similar price-range and feature-wise.

VIA's chipset offerings are as of 2008 simply outmatched and way behind what their competitors are offering. UniChrome is no match for IGP solutions offered by ATI or nVidia. Their primary and overused south bridge offering, VT8237, is nearly 5 years old at its core with occasional "catch-up" refreshes over the years and it is woefully lacking by modern standards. VT8251 is no better. On the Intel front they are doing little better, their north-bridge offerings are inadequate and antiquated when compared similar Intel offerings. But then again, comparing 5 year old VIA and Intel tech is hilarious, considering where Intel was 5 years ago. I guess it goes to show how Intel has indeed progressed. VIA’s xxx8xx chipsets are ancient considering what AMD, Intel, and nVidia are producing nowadays, and xxx900 lineup was a textbook example of too little too late.

Also, I noticed people refuse to mention their CPU lineup, if it can be even called that. Their core architecture hasn't changed in over half a decade, with occasional refreshes over the years purely for marketing purposes and to keep the shareholders from panicking. Having your "latest" CPU get beat by a nearly decade old Celeron half the Mhz count is pretty embarrassing. Their latest EPIA offerings are simply inadequate and overpriced, although this has more to do with nVidia and AMD under pricing their stuff than anything. As far as desktop and laptop market is concerned, largely they IS dun. Their 2007 roadmap promised much, but little of it materialized, again an obvious and desperate signal.

I can’t see anyone buying a VIA product unless they are looking for something extremely low-power where VIA's EPIA offerings certainly fall into this category, but even then they are simply inadequate and lack the raw power for any sort of modern HD HTPC machine. So, only thing I can think of is either firewalls or tiny file servers, or some third-option specialty setups but even then I can think of several better and cheaper alternatives. Also, if you are able to get their older desktop tech for cheap, and you should be by now, then I recommend it. But buying a $25 dollar VIA based motherboard, with 5+ year old tech onboard and then pairing it up with a $300 CPU from AMD or Intel is simply effing dumb. I mean seriously?

Glory days of KT266A and similar VIA products are long gone. This latest internal merger only highlights this.
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#25
eidairaman1
I think Via can do extremely well if they would just license the Chipset and Socket out to the Likes of DFI, MSI etc aka a full ATX motherboard with a Single or Dual PCI express 2 16x slot that supports Crossfire, and possibly Dual CPUs- it seems their CPU line is more efficient than intel or AMDs (Hey just about all boards do- plus easier to implement than SLI). Course they should work on another Chipset for Intel and AMD.
by: Jimmy 2004
VIA Technologies, a firm which is probably best known for producing chipsets for AMD and Intel motherboards, has merged its CPU and chipset divisions to allow it to focus on supporting its own brand CPUs. This is according to the Chinese Apply Daily, which says the company plans to slowly phase-out development of chipsets for third-party products, although it will continue to support both its AMD chipsets and any older Intel chipsets not affected by patent issues. The firm has not yet completely given up on negotiations with Intel to acquire a patent contract, but it certainly seems to have its sights set on bigger things with its CPUs.

Source: DIGITIMES
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