Tuesday, February 18th 2020

VIA CenTaur CHA NCORE AI CPU Pictured, a Socketed LGA Package

VIA's CenTaur division sprung an unexpected surprise in the CPU industry with its new CHA x86-64 microarchitecture and an on-die NCORE AI co-processor. This would be the first globally-targeted x86 processor launch by a company other than Intel and AMD in close to 7 years, and VIA's first socketed processor in over 15 years. SemiAccurate scored a look at mock-up of the CenTaur CHA NCORE 8-core processor and it turns out that the chip is indeed socketed.

Pictured below, the processor is a flip-chip LGA. We deduce it is socketed looking at its alignment notches and traces for ancillaries on the reverse-side (something BGAs tend to lack). On the other hand, the "contact points" of the package appear to cast shadows, and resemble balls on a BGA package. Topside, we see an integrated heatspreader (IHS), and underneath is a single square die. CenTaur built the CHA NCORE on TSMC's 16 nm FinFET process. The package appears to have quite a high pin-count for a die this size, but that's probably because of its HEDT-rivaling I/O, which includes a quad-channel DDR4 memory interface and 44 PCI-Express gen 3.0 lanes.
Source: Semi Accurate
Add your own comment

15 Comments on VIA CenTaur CHA NCORE AI CPU Pictured, a Socketed LGA Package

#1
bonehead123
So...exactly what is the point of and/or target market for this chip ?

And why devote time & resources to develop a new chip, then waste most of it by using pcie 3 lanes.....
Posted on Reply
#2
DeathtoGnomes
More information is definitely needed here, without it cant tell what VIA intends todo here.
Posted on Reply
#3
Hardware Geek
Competition is great but this is for a very specific use case and not intended for the client segment. That leaves the Intel and AMD duopoly. That doesn't, however, preclude the possibility of implementing a client version. If they can reduce or remove the AI and add more cores. Even without SMT, 12+ cores with higher clocks would be hard to beat, and it leaves room for an upgrade with SMT in a future design.
Posted on Reply
#5
MoreOrLess
bonehead123So...exactly what is the point of and/or target market for this chip ?

And why devote time & resources to develop a new chip, then waste most of it by using pcie 3 lanes.....
Target is most likely small footprint servers for AI, think SuperMicro Micro Cloud servers, you could get ~180 blades in a rack cabinet. Another usage would be appliances where you want to add AI, like firewalls and NAS.

PCIe 4 is rather new still, takes time to develop and most current utilities are till on PCIe 3 so it isn't crucial.
Posted on Reply
#6
JalleR
So intel has sold its old Cpu manufactoring parts to VIA :D that looks so much like a 2011-3 (V1) chip, will it fit in a X99 Chipset motherboard: 44PCI lanes Check, QuadChannel memory Check, bga style connectors…. hmmm not check.. :D
Posted on Reply
#7
R00kie
that looks like BGA to me, not LGA...
Posted on Reply
#8
Ferrum Master
gdallskthat looks like BGA to me, not LGA...
indeed...

I am more surprised seeing AVX512F support, that should have ended up in the article....
Posted on Reply
#9
gamefoo21
Ferrum Masterindeed...

I am more surprised seeing AVX512F support, that should have ended up in the article....
It looks like reverse BGA to me.

No talking about features AMD doesn't support yet.

Hehe
Posted on Reply
#10
Ubersonic
If you had told me just a couple of years ago that in 2020 Intel would be back in the GPU market and Cyrix/Via would be back making CPUs I would have laughed until I puked xD
Posted on Reply
#11
xlen
UbersonicIf you had told me just a couple of years ago that in 2020 Intel would be back in the GPU market and Cyrix/Via would be back making CPUs I would have laughed until I puked xD
But they have never stopped making CPUs, they were pushed out of global market by intel, the same way AMD almost was, but in China they've been selling a lot of CPUs
bonehead123So...exactly what is the point of and/or target market for this chip ?

And why devote time & resources to develop a new chip, then waste most of it by using pcie 3 lanes.....
They have been making CPUs for decades, this is simply their return to the global market.
Posted on Reply
#12
haxzion
UbersonicIf you had told me just a couple of years ago that in 2020 Intel would be back in the GPU market and Cyrix/Via would be back making CPUs I would have laughed until I puked xD
Right? We need more competition in both CPU and GPU market plus new technologies.We were stuck with that idiotic 4core i7 for years until AMD stepped up their game.
There is also more competition in the "Room Heaters" market with that ridiculous Intel 14nm 10 core chip.
Posted on Reply
#13
Frick
Fishfaced Nincompoop
nanoITX boards plz via ok?
Posted on Reply
#14
Adam Krazispeed
bonehead123So...exactly what is the point of and/or target market for this chip ?

And why devote time & resources to develop a new chip, then waste most of it by using pcie 3 lanes.....
let alone a 16nm process??? Why VIA. wtf is wrong wit you, what happend , your like 3dfx vs nvidia back in 2000 lol

we got 7nm since 2019, and will have (hopefully) 6nm & 5nm in end of 2021/early to mid 2022 & then 3nm in 2-4 more years?? wtf Via...... just die already, u cant compete except in china
UbersonicIf you had told me just a couple of years ago that in 2020 Intel would be back in the GPU market and Cyrix/Via would be back making CPUs I would have laughed until I puked xD
if i would have told u the same, and not only that, but back in 2016 i told you all that AMD would finally kill intel (for once) in a long time, you would had laughed at me too... but im the one sitting happy when i spent 10,000 US dollars on AMD Stock back in 2015/2016 (right before AMD Launched Ryzen 1st Gen.. (AMD was $1.87 Sept 2015, per share back then when i bought stock...... Im very happy I did.... its $90 now or was $92 when i pulled out anout 80% of my earnings at the peak right at 94.70 July 2nd. im happy .. got my gpu because of it hahahaha (mass profit ) im sitting good lol)

i now hav had 9 different ryzen pc since my 1800X up to 5800x (x3) a 5600X, 4750g In an Asrock Desk MiniX300 STX pc, 3600/ 3700X a 3800X, 1st ge 1900X threadripper (more pci e lanes (only needed 8 cores) had a 1600AF (12nm zen+ based 1600 ryzen 6 core Sold to a friend with a gtx 1080 hybrid) 1080ti, 2x 5700XT And 1x 5700 with 5700Xt bios) AMD refence RX 6800Xt and a Sapphire Nitro+ RX 6800XT also... and alot of other system a 2600X with a fury R9 Nano 4GB HBM, for older games that dont need the high end cards today.... and much more left over from my stock gamble...

im waiting for AM5 to drop and investing about another 10k back but even if i lose im still good the rest is staying in a trust and or a savings account or both
Posted on Reply
#15
Peter1986C
FricknanoITX boards plz via ok?
If you are looking for something like The Odyssey X86J4105..

I mean, there are other vendors who make stuff performing similarly to VIA's Eden/Nano/etc. boards that cost the same or less.
Posted on Reply
Add your own comment