Next generation VIA processor core, codenamed "Esther", to be produced using IBM's advanced 90nm SOI, low-k manufacturing technology for higher performance with lower power consumption
Taipei, Taiwan and Las Vegas, USA, 06 January 2004 - VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, today announced the selection of IBM Microelectronics, the world's premier information technology supplier, as its foundry partner for the next generation of VIA processors based on the "Esther" core scheduled for the second half of 2004.
VIA's decision to partner with IBM was based on the company's ground breaking silicon manufacturing technologies, such as copper interconnects, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and low-k dielectric insulation, together with its advanced 90-nanometer (nm) process. These advanced manufacturing technologies are designed to reduce power consumption and allow processor speeds of 2GHz and beyond within the same thermal envelope as current VIA processors.
"We are delighted to be working with IBM, and believe that our combined expertise in processor design and manufacturing will ensure that we continue to produce the world's smallest and most efficient native x86 processors," said Wenchi Chen, President and CEO, VIA Technologies, Inc. "VIA processors are spurring the development of exciting new devices in areas such as the connected home and mobile entertainment, and we are confident that our new partnership with IBM will lead to unprecedented innovation in future convergence device markets."
The transition of from 130nm to the 90nm manufacturing process provides greater scope for power saving and performance enhancements. Decreasing the internal distances traveled by electronic signals within the processor reduces power consumption, while the low-k dielectric technique, introduced by IBM, is a new method of building microchips that can deliver boosts in computing speed and performance of up to a 30 percent by facilitating the faster movement of electronic signals through the chip. Similarly, IBM's SOI CMOS technology limits transistor leakage, further increasing performance by an estimated 20-35% while reducing power consumption.
The next generation processors will be manufactured at IBM's state-of-the-art 300mm (12 inch) foundry in East Fishkill, N.Y.
VIA Processors Driving New Markets
VIA's low power processor platforms are driving innovation in numerous markets, and especially in the new convergence device segment, inspiring new system designs on an unprecedented scale in the home, office and mobile segments. From ultra quiet desktop PCs to stylish living room media centers and car dashboard systems, an increasing number of developers are taking full advantage of the thermal and physical efficiencies of VIA processors, providing computing, connecting and enhanced digital media performance to business and leisure users around the world.
The accelerating trend towards smaller and quieter systems that meet our ever-growing digital media requirements requires continual hardware innovation; to this end, the next generation VIA processors will play a key role in bringing more advanced technologies to the market, and helping to define new applications for the native x86 platform. Combining greater security and power management technologies with improved digital media performance at speeds of 2GHz and beyond, the new "Esther" core architecture will greatly increase performance yet maintain the signature low power consumption of VIA processors, ensuring continued system design innovation in the rapidly emerging PC convergence device markets.
The next generation "Esther" core processors will be manufactured at IBM, while the Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Corporation (TSMC) will continue to produce VIA's existing processor lines as well as market-leading core logic chipsets and advanced communications, networking and multimedia solutions.
About IBM Microelectronics
IBM Microelectronics is a key contributor to IBM's role as the world's premier information technology supplier. IBM Microelectronics develops, manufactures and markets state-of-the-art semiconductor, ASIC and interconnect technologies, products and services. Its superior integrated solutions can be found in many of the world's best-known electronic brands. IBM is a recognized innovator in the chip industry, having been first with advances like more power-efficient copper wiring in place of aluminum, faster silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and silicon germanium transistors, and improved low-k dielectric insulation between chip wires. These and other innovations have contributed to IBM's standing as the number one U.S. patent holder for nine consecutive years. More information about IBM Microelectronics can be found at: http://www.ibm.com/chips.
About VIA Technologies, Inc.
VIA Technologies, Inc. is the foremost fabless supplier of market-leading core logic chipsets, low power x86 processors, advanced connectivity, multimedia, networking and storage silicon, and complete platform solutions that are driving system innovation in the PC and embedded markets. Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, VIA's global network links the high tech centers of the US, Europe and Asia, and its customer base includes the world's top OEMs, motherboard vendors and system integrators. VIA is listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange (TSE2388) and achieved annual revenues of over US$720 million in 2002. www.via.com.tw