The Intel Atom CPU has been all the rage this summer with netbook makers. Companies including Dell, Lenovo, Toshiba, Acer, and Asus have all released or announced low cost ultraportable laptops sporting the power saving CPU. And chip maker VIA wants in on the action.
VIA’s C7-M CPU shows up in a handful of current generation netbooks, most notably the HP Mini-Note and the Everex Cloudbook. But the C7-M CPU is significantly slower than the Intel Atom. VIA’s been working on a replacement for much of the year, and now the new VIA Nano CPU is finally shipping.
The Nano consumes more than twice the power of the Intel Atom. But thanks to it’s architecture, it could offer better performance for some CPU-intensive tasks. And the chip is designed so that manufacturers offering computers with a VIA C7-M chip today can easily upgrade to the Nano tomorrow with just a few tweaks.
That said, it could be a little while before we see any Nano-based netbooks on the market. At the moment VIA is shipping the chip to computer makers for machines that are still in development or in the early manufacturing stages. Still, it sounds like we could see a netbook or two with the VIA Nano processor by the end of the year. HP, I’m looking at you.