VIA Technologies, Inc., a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, today unveiled the new VIA Eden-N processor at the 16th annual Microprocessor Forum conference in San Jose.
Based on a new streamlined Nehemiah core architecture the VIA Eden-N processor delivers enhanced digital media performance features and the industry's most advanced embedded hardware security technologies in a tiny nanoBGA package measuring just 15mm x 15mm to provide the world's smallest, lowest power, and most secure native x86 processor.
"With the launch of the new VIA Eden-N processor, we are continuing to enhance our leadership in developing innovative low power processor solutions that address the growing security needs of corporate, government, and home users," commented Glenn Henry, President, Centaur Technology. "With its fast, efficient, and cost effective hardware encryption capabilities, the VIA Eden-N processor is paving the way towards pervasive security for all manner of PCs and smart digital devices by enabling robust protection for sensitive corporate and personal data at the system level and across fixed and wireless networks."
Combining the streamlined Nehemiah core architecture with a new nanoBGA package that measures only 15mm x 15mm, the VIA Eden-N processor is approximately the size of a penny and less than half the size of the Intel Pentium M processor, and with its enhanced thermal characteristics achieves a Thermal Design Power of only 6 watts at 800MHz and 7 watts at 1GHz.
The processor's ultra low power consumption is of paramount importance for small and quiet connected devices because it means that they can run without any cooling fans, significantly enhancing reliability during 24/7 operation. Its small size dramatically reduces motherboard real estate requirements, facilitating the development of smaller, more highly integrated footprints such as the forthcoming 12cm x 12cm VIA Nano-ITX mainboard form factor.
To address the growing need among corporate, government, and home users to protect sensitive data on their PCs and over networks, the VIA Eden-N processor adds advanced new on-die security features to the existing PadLock Security Suite on the Nehemiah core, including the new PadLock Advanced Cryptography Engine (ACE) and two hardware based RNGs. PadLock ACE provides world-class performance for the US government approved Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), performing cryptographic functions for securing e-mails, personal files, online transactions, and networks, including the latest high-bandwidth 802.11g wireless networks. Padlock ACE encrypts at rates of up to 12.5 Gigabits per second (Gbps) with a 1GHz VIA Eden-N processor, more than eight times faster than the best software AES implementation from a power hungry 3GHz Intel Pentium 4 processor based system that encrypts at a rate of a mere 1.5 Gbps.
Unlike software RNGs or existing multi-chip solutions, the PadLock RNGs utilizes electrical noise on the CPU to generate market-leading quantities of high quality entropy for use in the creation of security keys. The entropy is stored in a collection buffer where it can be accessed directly via a dedicated x86 instruction set without the use of vulnerable software drivers.