TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Via Technologies Inc. claimed that it has launched the industry's lowest power X86-compatible embedded platform, aiming at the information appliance (IA) and home entertainment markets.
Dubbed "Eden," the platform offers high performance and consumes about 6 watts of power, the least among rival products, according to the core-logic chipset designer. Eden will compete with the Geode line of National Semiconductor Corp., Santa Clara, Calif., and the SiS550 family of Silicon Integrated Systems, Hsinchu, Taiwan, among others, some analysts said.
The platform "brings to the industry for the first time a truly open and comprehensive x86 embedded multimedia platform based on proven market-leading technology that will drive rapid new product innovation," Via's president and chief executive Chen Wen-chi said at a press conference here today.
The new platform, which offers integrated north bridge and south bridge chipset options, is targeting OEM customers in the U.S., mainland China and Europe, said Frank Jeng, marketing director of the Taipei-based company. Product introductions by the customers are expected as soon as end of this month, although Jeng declined to comment on shipment volumes.
Via's potential customers also include Taiwan PC manufacturers, which contribute more than half of the output worldwide. "The PC makers have purchased X86 embedded systems from overseas suppliers. Via wants to convince them that a local company like Via can offer lower prices and better after-sales services," said Thomas Ho, an analyst with BNP Paribas Peregrine Securities in Hong Kong.
The island will ship 14.55 million notebook PCs and 27.04 million desktops next year, growing 5.2% and 5.8% from 2001, respectively, according to the Market Intelligence Center, a Taipei-based research firm.
The Eden platform is designed to be used in connectivity products, such as home entertainment devices like set top boxes, game consoles, personal video recorders and home servers, and commercial applications like thin clients, POS terminals and routers.
Via said that the platform is fully compatible with a complete range of Microsoft Windows XP, Windows 9x, Embedded Windows, and Windows CE operating systems together with all the versions of Linux. Multimedia performance is further enhanced by Eden's integrated APG2X/4X graphics with full 3D/2D/video acceleration, it said.
The models that Via is shipping are VE1400, VE1500, VE2400, and VE2500, while VE1600 and VE2600 will be available in Q1, 2002.