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Microprocessor Forum 2002: details about VIA Nehemiah and offspring

At Microprocessor Forum (MPF) 2002 representatives of Centaur Technology, a part of VIA Technologies, reported more details about company processor roadmaps.

They´ve actually provided technological details about Nehemiah (C5XL) processor core, which 1GHz samples are expected later this year. In 2003 VIA plans to raise chip clock to 1.4-1.5 GHz. At Microprocessor Forum the company demonstrated a working platform on VIA CLE266 and 1.13 GHz C5XL processor.

Details about further processor line development were provided as well. Now in the end of 2003 / beginning of 2004 the company plans to release C5Z core, a higher performance version of C5X, featuring about 2GHz clocks, 22-stage pipeline, SSE2 support, 80 sq.mm crystal, 0.13-micron process. For the low-end market the company plans to release low-power C5XP core and also C5Y with a new high-performance bus. Integrated C5XL and C5Z are planned to 2004, and further plans indicate a mysterious CN chip (perhaps, "N" is a place for another digit) with a completely new architecture.

The new Nehemiah (C5XL) core is not something ultranew, featuring architecture already known by C3 (C5N and Ezra-T). Still the core has changed significantly: 17 pipeline stages instead of 12, SSE support, x87 floating point block, operating at full clock. In other wors, the same architecture, but honed and shaped up.

According to company representatives, C5XL core will contain 32% more transistors then the current C5N, however, the crystal size is reduced from 56 to 52 sq.mm. VIA plans to leave the cost price at the same level, if not to reduce it as well.

Clock 1.1 GHz (?) 1.4-1.5 GHz > 2 GHz
Core, sq.mm 56 52 60
L1 instruction cache 64 Kb 64 Kb 64 Kb
L1 data cache 64 Kb 64 Kb 64 Kb
L2 cache 64 Kb 64 Kb 64 Kb
Pipeline stages 12 17 22
Instructions MMX/3DNow! MMX/SSE MMX/SSE/SSE2
Energy saving LongHaul LongHaul LongHaul
Process technology 0.13-micron
Interconnects Copper
Transistors 15.5 million 20.5 million -

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