Via shows dual-core Nano processor

Via Technologies showed off a working prototype of its dual-core x86 processor, the Nano DC, at the Computex exhibition in Taiwan.

Via demonstrated the prototype chip in a system that was playing a high-definition video. The processor runs at a clock speed of 1.6GHz and was manufactured using a 65-nanometer process, said C.J. Holthaus, a member of Via's Centaur processor design team.

The dual-core Nano has been in the works for some time. The Nano was originally expected to hit the market in 2009, but that was pushed back. Now, Via is finally ready to bring the chip to market.

"It'll be a product in about six months. This is mainly a technology demonstration," Holthaus said.

The commercial version of the processor won't be made using a 65-nanometer process, Holthaus said, declining to say what manufacturing process would be used other than to describe it as a "next-generation" technology.

Via had high hopes for the Nano when it announced it in 2008. Via has since sold the chips to several top PC vendors, including Lenovo and Samsung, but it hasn't dramatically changed the company's market share -- a distant third place behind Intel and Advanced Micro Devices.

That hasn't shaken Via's confidence in the product itself, though. "It's really good performance," Holthaus said, comparing it to low-power versions of Intel's Core 2 Duo processors.

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