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Rza79
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VIA Nano lives on

Sat Apr 15, 2017 7:24 am

Zhaoxin just announced that they will be launching a x86 CPU in the second half of 2017. This is from technology they 'acquired' from VIA Technologie's Centaur division. They have integrated graphics. I wonder if it's licensed or if it's S3 based.
http://www.digitimes.com/news/a20170411PD211.html

In this (German) article, Glenn Henry, mentions they want to integrate memory controller, ... into the CPU in the future but I'm not sure if he's still involved with the development of these new CPU's. The VIA CN-R was eventually two years delayed (C4650).
https://www.heise.de/ct/ausgabe/2012-24 ... 35457.html

From the only released performance numbers, the x86 core itself seems to be an updated Nano core. Looks to have similar IPC to Bulldozer in the Fritz benchmark.
Nano used to be faster than AMD's Cat cores, so it's not a totally lost case. Clocks seems to be too low though.

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DragonDaddyBear
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Re: VIA Nano lives on

Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:58 am

... Why are they even trying? Is there some special market niche that they have?
 
whm1974
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Re: VIA Nano lives on

Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:12 am

Losergamer04 wrote:
... Why are they even trying? Is there some special market niche that they have?

Without looking deeper, my first two guesses are:

1. The embedded market
2. Low cost computers for the Asian market.
 
DreadCthulhu
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Re: VIA Nano lives on

Sat Apr 15, 2017 9:15 am

Maybe they want to replace all those Atom C2000 chips that bricked themselves? Embedded products are the only real niche I see for this. Even then, if I were running an embedded device manufacturer, I would be trying to move everything to ARM anyways; lots more vendors to source from.
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Rza79
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Re: VIA Nano lives on

Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:04 am

China wants its own CPU to be independent from the west.
A home grown x86 CPU would be just what they need.
 
NTMBK
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Re: VIA Nano lives on

Sat Apr 15, 2017 10:06 am

The thing that jumps out at me from those slides is "SM3/SM4 national secret algorithm". I suspect that China want an x86 compatible processor which they can guarantee hasn't been backdoored by the NSA, which they can't do with either AMD or Intel.

EDIT: ...and of course, they probably want their own backdoors.
 
the
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Re: VIA Nano lives on

Sat Apr 15, 2017 4:45 pm

The one advantage that these chips will have is that they support AVX/AVX2. That is still a feature that Intel doesn't offer on the low end. I wouldn't expect great AVX performance but it'll at least be there.

I would also agree that this development does have some influence from the Chinese who want to be free of western backdoors and yes, have their own installed. As such, I'm really curious about the rest of the platform that these chips adhere to. Backdoors still needs a path where you can touch the door knob to open.
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NoOne ButMe
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Re: VIA Nano lives on

Sat Apr 15, 2017 5:04 pm

Losergamer04 wrote:
... Why are they even trying? Is there some special market niche that they have?

China. I suppose maybe a few in North Korea also.
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Waco
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Re: VIA Nano lives on

Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:37 pm

Well since they can't buy modern Intel chips, they might be using these to tie together their next brute-force decryption machines...
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DreadCthulhu
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Re: VIA Nano lives on

Sun Apr 16, 2017 8:58 am

I just noticed something really interesting about that chart; it has a Raven Ridge benchmark on it! Apparently it matches an i5 6600 in Fritz Chess. Kinda sad that is probably more relevant to any of us here than the actual Nano benchmarks. :lol:
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Greyguy 1948
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Re: VIA Nano lives on

Thu Apr 20, 2017 8:15 am

This 4 core Via Nano is close to AMD Jaguar in perf:
https://browser.primatelabs.com/v4/cpu/compare/1495379?baseline=2312897
 
Rza79
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Re: VIA Nano lives on

Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:54 am

Greyguy 1948 wrote:
This 4 core Via Nano is close to AMD Jaguar in perf:
https://browser.primatelabs.com/v4/cpu/compare/1495379?baseline=2312897


The Nano C4650 is also sold as the Zhaoxin ZX-C.
The, to be released, ZX-D seems to have a 23% higher IPC in the Fritz benchmark.
I would assume that general desktop usage will be much more responsive since they've now integrated the memory controller. That is IF they've natively integrated it and not just just slapped their P4 bus and chipset into the same silicon.
 
AMDisDEC
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Re: VIA Nano lives on

Fri May 19, 2017 2:47 pm

Losergamer04 wrote:
... Why are they even trying? Is there some special market niche that they have?

Yeah, VIA was known to customize the CPU for even small orders of 100,000 pieces.
IBM and many other manufacturers used custom VIA cores.
The Chinese market may have a huge demand for a cheap x86 low power CPU not tied to Intel.
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