New-and-improved Via Nano coming later this year

Despite showing promise, Via's Nano processor was largely absent from the netbook and nettop markets last year. DigiTimes says Via nonetheless has plans for two new versions of the CPU, both of which might arrive before the end of this year.

Quoting sources at PC manufacturers, DigiTimes says Via will launch Nano 3000-series processors in the third quarter of this year. These chips will be built on the same 65nm Fujitsu process as current Nanos, but they'll support SSE4 instructions—the one "major difference" in this new revision.

In the fourth quarter (or possibly in early 2010) Via will reportedly follow up with a dual-core version of the Nano. Engineering samples will come out in the second half of this year, but DigiTimes claims Via is "currently evaluating" whether to manufacture the CPU using a 45nm Fujitsu process or a 40nm TSMC process. Mass production will kick off in Q4 '09 or Q1 '10.

Intel also plans to release an Atom successor in the 2009-2010 time frame, although that product—code-named Lincroft—will by a system-on-chip design capable of squeezing into "phone form factors."

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