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Thursday, July 06, 2006

VIA VX700 chipset

VIA has just released news about its new VX700 specially designed for UMPCs:

UMPCs (Ultra Mobile PCs) is an exciting new category of devices that can fit comfortably into a pocket or handbag enabling users to access and interact with their entire digital world wherever they go. Creating exciting opportunities for entertainment, productivity, and communication focused products the VIA VX700 is the next step in this mobile future, enabling smaller form factor "computing" devices with reduced power consumption and enhanced functionality. As the first single chip implementation of its kind for ultra mobile devices, the VIA VX700 continues VIA's history of chipset innovation and blazes a strong path for a new breed of digital companions.

The new features included in this processor are just incredible, like "Powerful image enhancement technology delivering a Hi-Def™ visual experience including advanced video acceleration for MPEG-2, MPEG-4, and WMV9." Now, I have few questions to VIA: are they going to support for real these new features implementing a good set of drivers, tools and software or these features are going to be sitting in there waiting to be discovered like they did with the C7-M? will be able regular media players without too much of difficulties to use the mpg-2 and mpg-4 decoding capability? C7-M has MPG-2 decoding capability and only one or two programs can use it and only after a lot of tweaking! will be able Windows Media Player 10 to decode WMV9 without any tweaking around by users? Because in C7-M WMP does not seem to recognizer any video acceleration when you are playing DVD movies (MPG-2).

I'm trying to keep an open mind here - somebody asked me that ;) - but it's hard when you have a C7-M installed in your UMPC that works perfectly well when using tools created by VIA like StrongBox but that does not perform well decoding MPG-2 because apparently nobody knows how to use this feature. And VIA has not released any little Video Player.

I also hope that VIA is going to work this time with hardware makers helping them to configure the processor. It seems to me that this is the only way to see finally a VIA processor entering in C3 State. If this happens, probably we are going to see the 2.5 hours of battery life that current C7-M based UMPCs are supposed to have.

At this moment all I see is the usual well written but hollow VIA proganda, full of promises that they have failed so far to deliever. And I dare them to prove me that I'm wrong.

Source: UMPC Buzz.

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