Via to release a quad core chip -

Via is about to release a quad-core range of chips soon, according to the hacks at Tech Report  who found the chip during a visit to the outfit's offices.

Via already released a Nano X2 processor which is a dual-core implementation of its Isaiah architecture, built on TSMC's 40-nm chip fabrication process. Now the plan is to take that to QuadCore using a pair of Nano X2 chips on a single package.

The cunning plan is that this will be cheap and offer a low-power CPU to those who want one.

Tech Report said that there will be a single model QuadCore, with the interesting title of L4700.

This will manage 1.2GHz. However it will need 27.5W to run. It has a front-side bus speed of 1333MHz and a total of 4MB of L2 cache.

While this sounds rather dull, Via is offering something called Adaptive Overclocking, which isn't.

Adaptive Overclocking means you can push the CPU dynamically to 1.46GHz if you have enough electricity. It works a bit like Turbo Boost.

Also interesting is that QuadCore is basically two separate chips, each with dual cores and any dynamic power and frequency management happens on the chips.

Idle cores will drop to lower frequencies and voltages, and clock gating will kick in to save power.

According to Tech Report, it is not as sophisticated a set-up as Intel or AMD, but that is apparently coming.

QuadCore uses Via's "V4" front-side bus technology and is instantly compatible with Via's existing chipset and motherboard infrastructure. Via has said that the QuadCore won't enter production until the third quarter of this year.

It is being peddled to netbooks and low-cost desktops, small-form-factor PCs, and mini servers.

The advantage that Via has is that it is competing with Brazos and Intel's Atom which only have two cores. Via can offer a low-cost quad-core option. While it eats a bit more power than the Brazos and the Atom, it could do well in small cheap laptops.