New all-in-one VIA chipset can decode 1080p video

Later this year, Nvidia’s should bring high-definition video decoding capabilities to Via Nano systems through its Ion 2 platform. However, Via isn’t waiting around for that—it’s announced the VX855 “Media System Processor,” a new all-in-one chipset that can purportedly deliver “smooth playback of high bit-rate 1080p HD video.”

The VX855 is designed to accompany Via’s Nano, C7, or Eden processors. It supports 800MHz front-side bus speeds, and its memory controller can take up to 4GB of DDR2-800 memory. Also, the built-in Chrome 9 HCM graphics processor can handle “full hardware acceleration” of H.264, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VC-1, and Windows Media Video 9 video, and Via has tossed in support for eight-channel 32-bit, 192kHz audio. With only a single IDE channel, however, storage options are somewhat more limited.

According to Via, the VX855 squeezes those features into a 27 x 27-mm single-chip package with a teeny 2.3W power envelope—low enough to tolerate fanless operation. Coupled with the Via Nano, the VX855 could make for a nice little netbook platform with good CPU performance and well-rounded multimedia capabilities.

Comments closed
    • eloj
    • 11 years ago

    Prediction: Drivers will suck. No freely available full specification for DRM reasons, so no chance for the linux people to fix the borken drivers. No ffmpeg support hurts it on all platforms.

    Product lives on in obscurity for a couple of years after which it’s made obsolete by increase in CPU power in netbooks.

    • Kent_dieGo
    • 11 years ago

    Nice. A small low power PC with a DVD-ROM, wireless LAN and a small hard drive will be perfect for a HDTV home theater video appliance. I love having a HTPC connected to my HDTV. It is time to cancel my cable TV service because watching content off the PC is so much better.

    • ludi
    • 11 years ago

    Pernniel benchwarmer announces game-ending play, “for real this time” — Sources

    • bdwilcox
    • 11 years ago

    Even if this silicon came out early and embodied the greatest IC design known to man, VIA’s drivers and software would completely hobble it.

    • odizzido
    • 11 years ago

    looks interesting. Wonder when/if this will show up in a netbook.

      • phileasfogg
      • 11 years ago

      It’s not just aimed at netbooks. There are lots of opportunities for very low cost desktops and ‘whitebook’ notebooks which can use this chip. Via is slowly increasing production of the Nano CPU. The 1.8Ghz Nano coupled with this VX855 will be priced attractively for cost sensitive markets (China, India and Africa). The arrival of the $100-125 desktop is imminent.

    • eitje
    • 11 years ago

    I’m probably one of the only VIA fanboys left alive. So, it really kills me when I see them release a product that looks so good on paper, because I just know it’ll be out after Ion.

    Also, I gotta say… The specs only claim DX9 support? Wow.

      • jensend
      • 11 years ago

      As it says in the article, the integrated graphics are Chrome 9- probably a little better than GMA 900 and a little worse than GMA 950.

        • stmok
        • 11 years ago

        Its about 2x better in 3DMark03 and 06 compared to the IGP in the 945 chipset.

        Then again, that isn’t saying much.

          • phileasfogg
          • 11 years ago

          according to roadmaps that Via has been showing, there is a DX10 capable version that will be sampling in the 3rd quarter of this year. That version includes a x8 PCIe port and will support DDR3 @1333Mbps. But it will use a separate Southbridge chip.

        • eitje
        • 11 years ago

        I already knew that.

        My point was that VIA is falling behind. There are IGP solutions now that are DX10 capable; even Intel has chipsets that are DX10-capable.

        But thanks for trying to correct me.

          • dragmor
          • 11 years ago

          Intel’s IGP only qualifies for DX10 because the drivers hand the things it can’t do to the CPU.

            • eitje
            • 11 years ago

            still, VIA’s not even making that kind of effort. 😛

          • clone
          • 11 years ago

          they haven’t fallen behind that far….. Intel integrated is DX10 capable on paper but that paper is only useful for a wipe after finishing the business in the toilet.

          real world performance is it’s demise.

          my guess though is that indeed the chipset won’t arrive any quicker than Nano has and proliferate as quickly which is a shame but typical of via.

          p.s. is their an advantage in opting for a lone IDE channel as opposed to 2 sata ports?

    • GFC
    • 11 years ago

    Just add a decent SATA connector on there, and it’s going to smash Ion before it even takes off xD

    • beetlebud
    • 11 years ago

    First out means first gone…death to VIA

    • itaru
    • 11 years ago

    ion2 is unnecessary

    • Dposcorp
    • 11 years ago

    “With only a single IDE channel, however, storage options are somewhat more limited.”

    Cyril, unless the system ONLY has a single IDE channel and NO SATA connectors at all, isn’t that statement kind of flawed, or am I missing something?

    Heck, in a Nebtook, isn’t even a single drive connected enough, regardless of its IDE or SATA?

    Just curious on why you included that comment.

      • itaru
      • 11 years ago

      VX855 seemed to be reduced further, to be dropped, to be suppressed by the minimum requirement, and to have been made a power saving.
      PCIE x4 and x1*2 that exists in VX800 might be the barrel one at that.

      There only haves to be one HDD if mini note and SFF PC are targets even if it is few.
      In addition, there only haves to be one optical drive even if it is a lot of.
      Because IDE 1ch is smarter than SATA 2ch (One SATA can be used in the bridge).

      I thought that the manufacturing process changed from the low degree of the TDP first.
      However, it optimized to the target usage, the superfluous flesh was reduced, and it dropped.

      • eitje
      • 11 years ago

      specs page *[http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/chipsets/v-series/vx855/index.jsp#spec<]§

        • fredsnotdead
        • 11 years ago

        No, from the information in the link you provided it’s only one IDE channel that can support up to two devices (as usual for IDE); the block diagram shows an (apparently optional) SATA-to-IDE bridge.

        “Storage Interface Support

        * UDMA IDE
        * Support SD/MS/MMC/XD”

        This is really disappointing. VIA used to be a capable chipset company.

          • eitje
          • 11 years ago

          you might not believe it, but I’m positive those specs had SATA 2.0 listed in them this morning.

      • swaaye
      • 11 years ago

      In my Eee900, a single IDE channel runs both SSDs. That was kinda dumb of them to do though because when one of the SSDs is dragging with its awful write performance, the other drive is inaccessible too thanks to how IDE channels work.

    • Xenolith
    • 11 years ago

    I like. Interested to see what the battery life of a 6-cell battery would be. Also interested to see if it will ever hit the light of day.

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