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An inside look at the VIA C7-M


At last summer’s Computex, VIA introduced the VIA C7 processor and its mobile counterpart, the VIA C7-M processor. These chips sport a thoroughly modern feature set and promise to be a marked advance beyond the VIA C3 processor. More recently, the VIA C7-M ULV (Ultra Low Voltage) processor range was launched at CeBIT (March 2006). The ULV series are essentially the models of C7-M at 1.5GHz and below. For comparison the C7-M processor at 1.5GHz has a maximum power of 12W, whilst the C7-M ULV 1.5GHz model has a maximum power of 7.5W. In all other respects they are the same processor.

For this article we have tested a TwinHead E12BL notebook outfitted with a 1.5GHz C7-M ULV processor and have thoroughly examined the notebook’s performance and power characteristics. Our results show that 1.5GHz C7-M ULV processors consume remarkably little power and sets new industry standards for battery life -- easily outlasting the Intel® Pentium®-M on all of our battery life tests -- while performance is highly competitive in the areas most important for the mobile space.

The VIA C7 die is dwarfed by the Intel's 90nm Pentium-M die. The C7 is in the new nanoBGA2 package, but the chip is also available in the same FCPGA package as the Pentium-M. The state of Texas is not shown to scale.  

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Author Name:Van Smith
Published Date:10 March 2006
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