VIA partners with IBM for next-gen processor

— 4:07 AM on January 6, 2004

VIA has announced a foundry partnership with IBM to produce VIA's next-generation "Esther" processor core. Esther is due in the second half of 2004 and will reportedly use IBM's low-k, 0.09-micron, SOI manufacturing process.

VIA's decision to partner with IBM was based on the company's ground breaking silicon manufacturing technologies, such as copper interconnects, silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and low-k dielectric insulation, together with its advanced 90-nanometer (nm) process. These advanced manufacturing technologies are designed to reduce power consumption and allow processor speeds of 2GHz and beyond within the same thermal envelope as current VIA processors.
2GHz on an EPIA would certainly be sweet, but don't get your hopes too high for Esther to be a benchmark burner or inherit any 64-bit attributes from Big Blue. VIA's President had this to say about the partnership:
"We are delighted to be working with IBM, and believe that our combined expertise in processor design and manufacturing will ensure that we continue to produce the world's smallest and most efficient native x86 processors"
IBM currently has its fingers in chips from AMD, Apple, NVIDIA, and even Microsoft's next Xbox, so VIA is definitely in good company.
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