Via Technologies may steer its processor roadmap towards the increasingly crowded area of dual core technologies, depending on the reaction from its core markets.
The vendor announced at the fall processor forum last week that it would introduce 64-bit extensions with its Isaiah core, which is due to hit the market in early 2006.
Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, the two vendors that dominate the x86 market, have both shipped hybrid 32/64-bit architectures, and are now preparing to launch dual and multi-core processors next year.
Glenn Henry, president of Centaur Technology, Via’s chip design business, told ComputerWire this week that dual and multicore technology was also on his firm’s agenda. He said Via’s current parts already supported multiprocessing, and from there it was not a major leap to put two or more cores on a single die.
Henry said the company was examining if the potential market is big enough. We’re sort of testing the water. Either way, such a move did not mean the company would be looking beyond its traditional strengths of low cost, low power and small footprint: If there’s a market in our power and price range, we’ll do it.
Henry also said that Via’s 64 bit capability would be fully compatible with Intel and AMD’s 64-bit extensions. Via works closely with AMD, and has a cross license agreement with Intel.
He said the company didn’t see it as a problem that its 64-bit extensions would be appearing two years after AMD’s and a year after Intel’s.
Henry noted that apart from the open source world, there was little mass market software that could exploit the 64-bit capability at present.
In addition, he said, the firm didn’t want to bolt on the technology to an existing platform, as he claimed Intel had, and wanted to integrate 64-bit right.