New VIA Chipset Offers 1080P, Availability Dubious

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News Posted: Tue, Mar 23 2010 7:46 PM
VIA Technologies is talking up its VX900 chipset, and promising that its new "media system processor" (MSP) will offer silky-smooth 1080P playback when paired with a VIA Nano 3000. "VIA's trail-blazing VX900 will bring welcome relief to those pining for the best view of HD video online," said Richard Brown, Vice President of Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. "The VIA VX900 represents the most complete solution for HD digital content consumption on the market today."

The VIA VX900 MSP features the VIA Chromotion HD 2.0 video engine, boasting hardware acceleration of the H.264 codec technology that is driving today's advanced online HD video streaming services. The VIA VX900 brings crisp, smooth 1080p HD video content to life without hogging key system resources or resorting to an additional third party decoder. Video of the Nano + VX900 smoothly decoding 1080P is below.

So far, so good, but note the phrase "when paired with a VIA Nano 3000." This is a difficult task to achieve, particularly if you're attempting to buy hardware that's price/performance equivalent to various other Intel and AMD solutions on the market. It's not just the VIA Nano 3000 parts that are in short supply, products built around the 2000 series are hard to find. The chips are out there—just not much. It's been almost two years since VIA seeded reviewers with Nano processors and encouraged direct comparisons against Intel's Atom. At the time, we were excited at the prospect that after years of work, VIA had a genuinely competitive product it could take head-to-head against Intel in a red-hot market segment. Back then, HP's Mini-Note 2133's was slated for a refresh that would upgrade the line to Nano processors instead of VIA's older C7 chips.

There was interest, there was excitement, and then there was nothing. There will supposedly be Nano 3000 + VX900 boards and chips on display at Computex but what we'd really like to see are a handful of design wins or a few motherboard manufacturers (besides Jetway) with competitively priced mini-ITX solutions. Two years later, there's still a potential market for Nano, but a chip you can't buy isn't much good to anyone.
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la_guy_10 replied on Tue, Mar 23 2010 8:10 PM

Very interesting Via seems to want a piece of the graphics market as well. I look for them to attempt their own version of a hybrid CPU/GPU on a single die eventually. I do not know how much headway they can make as they will be competing against the best in the business with Intel, Nvidia and AMD will soon have a version out.

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VIA has had a small piece of the graphics market for a while now. The same way they got a piece of the CPU market, by buying a failing company.

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Now this is getting interesting, If they can actually deliver on this.

There has been talk in the DCC world of products like this. Processors that have the capability to work in conjunction with the GPU to allow for integrated rendering capabilities. That was even the buzz, that a GPU could be made useless when rendering 3D files in Mental Ray, allowing the computer to do it all within the processor, RAM and on the Motherboard.

This seems like an offshoot of that type of structure. It has been said that with that capability, and addition of a WS card that rendering would be virtually instant. With that kind of power, I am sure HD content would be an easy process for this type of chipset.

I guess the question is now. Do we wait for this company to step up to the plate and deliver. Or do we wait until AMD/Intel swoop in and produce their own versions to call their own?

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