VIA Nano X2 E-Series dual-cores promise ultra-frugal HTPCs

VIA has unveiled its latest Nano X2 E-Series dual-core processors, and they want to make your HTPC and other embedded gadgets faster. The new 64-bit chips run at either 1.2GHz or 1.6GHz, and play nicely with Windows Embedded Standard 7, the platform which could form the basis of Microsoft's upcoming push into Mediaroom-based IPTV.

Like the Eden X2 dual-cores announced back in March, the new E-Series chips support processor-level AES encryption and virtualization. As well as Windows 7 they'll happily run Linux and other platforms.

VIA is sampling the new chips now, and expects the first products and boards using the E-Series processors to hit the market later this quarter. Microsoft is rumored to be working with OEMs on a reference design for potential Microsoft TV hardware, though of course there's no telling whose CPUs are at the heart of it.

Press Release:

VIA Announces New Nano™ X2 E-Series Dual Core Processors

VIA Nano X2 E-Series processors deliver a highly-optimized power-efficient dual core solution for advanced 64-bit x86 embedded system design applications

Taipei, Taiwan, 5 May, 2011 – VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient x86 processor platforms, today announced that it will release its latest edition to its new family of low power dual core VIA Nano X2 Series processors.

VIA Nano X2 E-Series processors combine a highly optimized, power-efficient dual-core architecture with advanced performance for the most demanding 64-bit x86 embedded system design applications. Available in two models running at speeds of 1.2+ GHz and 1.6+ GHz, VIA Nano X2 E-Series Processors also come with a component longevity guarantee of 7 years.

"The VIA Nano X2 E-Series demonstrates how VIA continues to lead the way in bringing highly optimized, power-efficient 64-bit x86 processors to the embedded market," said Epan Wu, Head of the VIA Embedded Platform Division, VIA Technologies, Inc. "With their advanced performance, these processors provide developers with exciting new embedded system design options."

VIA Nano X2 E-Series

Leveraging the latest 40nm manufacturing process, VIA Nano X2 E-Series processors combine two 64-bit, superscalar VIA Nano cores on one die, offering enhanced multi-tasking and superb multimedia performance on a low power budget.

VIA Nano X2 E-Series processors bring additional features that include VIA VT virtualization, a technology that allows legacy software and applications to be used in virtual scenarios without impacting on performance. The unique VIA AES Security Engine offers hardware-based data encryption on the fly, an essential tool in content protection and system security.

VIA Nano X2 E-Series processors are natively 64-bit compatible, facilitating an essential transition for the future of the embedded industry as 64-bit operating systems such as Windows® Embedded Standard 7 allow for vastly improved data throughput per clock cycle. This makes it easier to manipulate large data sets and improves overall performance. VIA Nano X2 E-Series processors are also fully compatible with Windows CE and Linux operating systems.

VIA Nano X2 E-Series processors are based on the latest 40nm manufacturing process using a VIA NanoBGA2 package of 21mm x 21mm with a die size of 11mm x 6mm. They are also fully pin-to-pin compatible with VIA Eden, VIA C7 and VIA Nano E-Series, and VIA Eden X2 processors.

Product Highlights

• Industry-leading power-efficient architecture

• 7 year longevity guarantee

• Advanced multi-core processing

• Native support for 64-bit operating systems

• High-performance superscalar processing

• Out-of-order x86 architecture

• Most efficient speculative floating point algorithm

• Full processor virtualization support

• Advanced power and thermal management

• VIA AES hardware security features

• Pin-to-pin compatibility with VIA processors range

VIA Nano X2 E-Series Processors are sampling now to project customers. Systems and boards featuring VIA Nano X2 E-Series processors will be available in Q2 2011.