Isiah-based Nano chips
On the heels of its C7-based OpenBook reference design, VIA Technologies on Thursday formally introduced its VIA Nano processor family based on the "Isaiah" architecture. VIA claims that the Nano family, which uses Fujitsuís 65 nanometer process, offers as much as four times the performance of its previous-generation within the same power and thermal envelope, while offering pin-compatibility with VIA C7 processors. Introduced in January, the new low-power CPU features out-of-order processing, a large 1MB L2 cache, and an improved FPU for 2-4 times the performance of the previous-generation C7 processor at the same clock speeds. While already sampling the chips to vendors, VIA says expects to ship the low-power (L-series) and ultra-low-power (U-series) Nano chips in the third quarter in speeds up to 1.8GHz.
PA Semi's PowerPC chips
Apple will reportedly offer legacy support for PA Semi's line of PowerPC-based processors following pressure from the government and clearing up rumors that surfaced after the chipmaker's acquisition by Apple last month. In effort to continue to push the chip power efficiency envelope, the Cupertino-based company purchased the microprocessor design company for nearly $300 million, but reports following the announcement said that the US Defense Department may have objected if Apple discontinued support for its current chips that are used in a wide variety of military devices, but are not used in Apple's current generation products (PowerPC chips were used by Apple before its transition to the Intel architecture almost three years ago). The Register says that the government may have pressured Apple into supporting the current PowerPC-chip design and PA Semi's customers.
DoD to contest Apple?
With little incentive to continue selling PowerPC-based chips, the US Department of Defense may plead its case against Apple following the announcement of the $278 million buyout of startup chipmaker PA Semi. The acquisition appears to be focused on the company's intellectual property and talent for reducing chip power consumption rather than its products, the report notes. Last week, the EETimes said that Apple may have to face the ire of the U.S. Department of Defense following its planned acquisition, as its customers expect Apple to end-of-life its current chips that are used in a wide variety of military devices.