HP have placed an order with VIA for their latest ultramobile chipset, the Nano, according to industry sources. VIA, while declining to name specific buyers, has confirmed that they have received orders from “a certain first-tier notebook vendor” with intent to release a product using the Nano CPU by October 2008. However it’s uncertain whether HP intend to use the Nano in their existing Mini-Note netbook range or in a more mainstream device.
The HP Mini-Note 2133 currently uses VIA’s C7-M, the processor that Nano replaces, leading to speculation that the order is for an upgrade to the 2133. VIA described the Nano as four-times faster than the C7-M, and has recently gone on the offencive against Intel’s wildly-successful Atom CPU.
Another possibility is that the Nano will be used in HP’s new, cheaper Mini-Note, which the company confirmed was in development. At the time, they refused to be drawn on whether the netbook - which would attempt to take on the cheaper Eee PC models – would continue to use VIA’s chipsets or change to Intel’s rival platform. However they did state their intention to have the new device on the market sometime this year.
HP has already ordered 500,000 of VIA’s C7-M CPUs, giving some idea of the numbers that the company expects to sell. Given that the Nano is pin-for-pin backward-compatible with the C7-M socket, a further possibility is that the new processor order could be for a slightly updated version of the 2133.