VIA snubbed by UMPC makers
According to market sources interviewed by DigiTimes, VIA's C7-M
embedded processors are being shunned
by most Ultra-Mobile PC (UMPC) manufacturers, who instead prefer Intel's
low-voltage Celeron M and Pentium M chips. This is despite the fact that
C7-M embedded chips are cheaper and claim lower power consumption than
Intel's, and that VIA was supposedly due to be Microsoft's original
partner for the UMPC. DigiTimes' sources say the Intel favoritism is due
to the company's "stronger brand awareness and R&D capability."
Indeed, while the C7-M may have some advantages over current
Pentium/Celeron Ms, Intel has the process technology advantage, and UMPC
makers like Asus and Samsung are perhaps banking on being able to use
some low-voltage 65nm Yonah- and Merom-based chips down the line.
Nonetheless, the C7-M will make its way into UMPCs from PBJ, DualCor,
and TabletKiosk. Samsung is expected to launch the first UMPC in the US
market on May 1—it will feature a
900MHz Celeron M processor, and early reports indicate a possible launch
price in the $1,200 range.