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.

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