Good old VIA Technologies Inc. While most older hardware enthusiasts will probably have some memories of the company, the same usually cannot be said of the younger generation of this particular group of people, many of whom are probably not even aware of the fact that there exists a third developer of x86 chips besides the likes of Intel and AMD. And with VIA returning as a stellar exhibitor for Computex once again, we head down to its booth at the Taipei International Convention Center to see what the world's third developer of x86 chips has up its sleeves this year.
It is easy for many to jump to the conclusion that Intel and AMD are the only two developers of x86 CPUs, and for good reason. After all, with both companies commanding a near total share of the x86 pie, it can be a little difficult for people to wrap their minds around the fact that there is a third such developer of such processors that goes by the name of VIA Technologies Inc.
That being said, if you have been keeping up with the latest developments in the x86 processor space, you would have realized that VIA has made headlines recently with the announcement of its new quad core x86 processor which the company has named simply as the VIA QuadCore. And just as we had expected, this new processor was up on display at VIA's booth over at the Taipei International Convention Center or TICC.
According to VIA, the QuadCore is drop-in compatible with the company's other x86 CPUs. And by drop-in, they actually mean 'solder-in' compatible; this is due to the fact that the QuadCore, like all of VIA's other processors before it, is designed to be soldered directly onto a motherboard.
If you are wondering just how big (or small) the VIA QuadCore processor is, here is a photograph of the chip stacked above our smartphone for comparison purposes:
VIA also claims that the heat produced by the QuadCore is low enough to allow for the chip to be cooled via passive means only. And as a testament to that fact, we were treated to the sight of a test bench powered by the QuadCore. Which, we should point out, was happily playing a HD movie without the use of a single cooling fan anywhere.
And if that was not enough to grab some eyeballs, here is a picture demonstrating the use of the VIA QuadCore processor in a notebook powering a 1600 x 900 display and running through three movies at the same time on Windows 7:
Last but not least, does anybody still remember S3 Graphics? Talk about feeling nostalgic, especially after seeing VIA's very own graphics cards based off the S3 Graphics GPUs: