VIA's VX855 Media System Processor Does 1080p

Not satisfied with simply introducing a new platform that's more diminutive than the already tiny Mini-ITX, VIA has stepped in with an all new media system processor that aims to bring power efficiency to 1080p-capable systems. The VX855 MSP offers up hardware-based H.264 video acceleration in a staggeringly small, highly integrated single chip package with an ultra low TDP of 2.3 watts.

Interestingly enough, we're now wondering if this here chip isn't in Habey's latest mini HTPC, and if not, if it'll be in that unit's successor. Asides, um, aside, VIA tells us that this new chipset is aimed specifically at the small form factor and mobile PC markets, and we couldn't be more elated to hear that Full HD support is soon coming to pint-sized systems. The unit is slated to be Windows 7-ready and support leading video standards including H.264, MPEG-2/4, VC-1 and WMV9. The main purpose -- outside of handling 1080p -- is to take the load away from the typically weak CPU found in netbooks and nettops.

As Richard Brown, Vice President of Marketing at VIA puts it: "For the first time, system developers have an ultra low power media system processor that delivers high bit-rate HD video to small form factor and mobile devices. The VIA VX855 opens up exciting opportunities for several PC segments, particularly the mini-notebook category that will now be able to offer true 1080p HD video playback."

This new chipset is fully compatible with VIA's Nano, C7 and Eden processor families, and it integrates a DDR2 memory controller, a 400/800MHz FSB processor interface and extensive I/O capabilities (such as 6 x USB 2.0, SDIO, UART, SPI, LPC and SMBus) in a single chip. Sadly, we're not told how pricey this will be to system makers, and even worse, we're left clueless as to when we'll see this within shipping rigs. Here's hoping it's sooner rather than later.

Tags:  1080P, VIA, MSP