VIA introduces "Nehemiah" C3

— 2:58 AM on January 22, 2003

VIA has officially unveiled its "Nehemiah" C3 processor, which boasts Enhanced Digital Media Performance:

Introducing the new generation VIA C3 ™ processor integrating the "Nehemiah" core. With its powerful PadLock™ Data Encryption Engine, the new VIA C3 is the first native x86 processor on the market with embedded security features that enhance the protection of sensitive corporate and personal data. The processor is based on an advanced new CoolStream™ architecture that delivers all the necessary performance for running even the most demanding digital media applications while maintaining ultra low levels of power consumption and effective heat dissipation - making it the ideal solution for powering a new wave of innovation in secure, quiet running, small form factor PCs and digital entertainment devices.
This new Nehemiah core is built on a 0.13-micron manufacturing process and will ramp up from 1.0GHz. SSE support has been added to the core along with new branch prediction logic and a "full speed" FPU. VIA claims that Nehemiah is 40% faster, clock-for-clock, than Intel's Pentium 4 Celeron processors, but the Pentium 4 Celeron's IPC is notoriously low.

Perhaps Nehemiah's most attractive features are its low power requirements and minimal heat output, both pillars of the C3 line. VIA has also added a hardware-based random number generator to the mix as part of its PadLock Data Encryption Engine, which could catch the eyes of business customers.

On paper, Nehemiah looks Better Than Ezra, but will it be good enough to challenge Intel's ramping Pentium 4 Celerons in mainstream desktop or mobile applications?

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