VIA Nano

The VIA Nano (formerly code-named VIA Isaiah) is a 64-bit CPU for personal computers. The VIA Nano was released by VIA Technologies in 2008 after five years of development by its CPU division, Centaur Technology. This new Isaiah 64-bit architecture was designed from scratch, unveiled on 24 January 2008, and launched on May 29, including low-voltage variants and the Nano brand name. The processor supports a number of VIA-specific x86 extensions designed to boost efficiency in low-power appliances.

Unlike Intel and AMD, VIA uses two distinct development code names for each of its CPU cores. In this case, the codename 'CN' was used in the United States by Centaur Technology. Biblical names are used as codes by VIA in Taiwan, and Isaiah was the choice for this particular processor and architecture. It is expected that the VIA Isaiah will be twice as fast in integer performance and four times as fast in floating-point performance as the previous-generation VIA Esther at an equivalent clock speed. Power consumption is also expected to be on par with the previous-generation VIA CPUs, with thermal design power ranging from 5 W to 25 W. Being a completely new design, the Isaiah architecture was built with support for features like the x86-64 instruction set and x86 virtualization which were unavailable on its predecessors, the VIA C7 line, while retaining their encryption extensions. Several independent tests showed that the VIA Nano performs better than the single-core Intel Atom across a variety of workloads. In a 2008 Ars Technica test, a VIA Nano gained significant performance after its CPUID changed to Intel, hinting at the possibility that the benchmark software only checks the CPUID instead of the actual features supported by the CPU to choose a code path.

On November 3, 2009, VIA launched the Nano 3000 series. VIA claims that these models can offer a 20% performance boost and 20% more energy efficiency than the Nano 1000 and 2000 series. Benchmarks run by VIA claim that a 1.6 GHz 3000-series Nano can outperform the aging Intel Atom N270 by about 40–54%. The 3000 series adds an SSE4 instruction set, which was first completely introduced in the Intel Core i7. (A subset of the instructions called SSE4.1 was introduced in the second generation of Core 2 processors.

On November 11, 2011, VIA released the VIA Nano X2 Dual-Core Processor with their first ever dual core pico-itx mainboard. The VIA Nano X2 is built on a 40 nm process and supports compatibility with the SSE4.1 instruction set. Via claims of a 30% boost in performance in comparison to Intel's Atom with a 50% higher clock).

Read more about VIA Nano:  Features, Architecture Improvements, See Also

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Centaur Technology - Design Methodology - VIA Nano
... VIA Nano Isaiah (CN) is a combination of a number of firsts from Centaur, their first superscalar out-of-order CPU, their first 64-bit CPU from Centaur and their first processor ... The development of the VIA Nano focused on radically improving the performance side of the performance-per-watt equation while still maintaining a similar TDP to the VIA C7 ...
VIA Nano - See Also
... List of VIA Nano microprocessors List of VIA microprocessors Netbook. ...