VIA Nano 3000 Arrives to Challenge Intel’s Atom

4070978410_d1cb1607a7VIA hasn’t been able to make much of a dent on the Intel Atom stranglehold for netbooks, but that doesn’t mean the company is conceding the market. Today, VIA introduced an updated Nano processor dubbed the Nano 3000. The company says that it has increased performance over the last-generation Nano by 20%, while also increasing power efficiency by 20%. The chips range in clock-cycle from 1.0 GHz to 2.0 GHz and all offer an 800 MHz front side bus, support for high-bitrate 1080p playback, 64-bit compatibility, advanced CPU virtualization, and SSE4 for enhanced multimedia processing.

VIA also points out some new benchmarks against the current N270 Atom:

  • PCMark 05 tests — 2,137 for Nano, 1,496 for Atom = 43% higher
  • 3DMark2006 — 2,419 for Nano, 1,605 for Atom = 49% higher

Although VIA doesn’t mention the Nano 3000 power consumption when in use, they do point out the low power when idling:

via-nano-3000

Those idle power numbers are quite low, but to gain wider acceptance by OEMs in the netbook space, device makers will be looking at in-use run times against the Atom. I’d love to take a look at a netbook powered by the Nano 3000 to see how it fares. I’m sure it will offer solid performance, but battery life is more important to me in a companion device. VIA says that mass production availability for the Nano 3000 line is the first quarter of 2010, so don’t expect to see any devices with it before then. Of course, at January’s Consumer Electronics Show there could be some demonstration units, so we’ll keep our eyes peeled.

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