Future Process Migrations, Interview Audio Download and FAQ
Q: Do you see the Isaiah core having as long a lifecycle as the C7, which has been on the market in one form or another for many years?
Glenn Henry: We assume it will have a very long life cycle like the C7. We’ve done a lot of things in the design to leave hooks for adding new features and transition to new technology. We have a very small design team, so we architected the chip with a lot of flexibility in mind for adding future functionality and features.
Q: Any plans to manufacture the Isaiah core using more advanced process technology in the future? How far down do you suspect the Isaiah can be “shrunk”? 32nm? Smaller?
Yes there are plans for a 45nm processor in the future and we’re actively working on it as we speak. We could technically take Isaiah to as low as fab technologies are capable. However, fab capitalization and costs for leading-edge fab processes are expensive. We won’t be on the leading edge out of principal, but will only move that way when there are obvious advantages.
Isaiah will come in a 21x21mm BGA package that is compatible with current C7 designs. We’ll also be introducing a much smaller 11x11mm package for both Isaiah and C7, with a tighter ball pitch of course. VIA has been showcasing a business card-sized full PC on their site with that 11mm package which is obviously very tiny. So the processor will be available in 11x11mm BGAs with a Northbridge/Graphics/Southbridge chip a single 25x25mm BGA. All told, that’s not a lot of real-estate at all.
Thanks very much for your time, Glenn. It was a pleasure. Good luck!
Click here to hear the entire interview with Centaur Technology's Glenn Henry.
VIA Isaiah Architecture FAQ (PDF)