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Via to ship smallest PC processor

Via to ship smallest PC processor

Taiwanese chip vendor, Via Technologies, will begin shipping its smallest PC processor and motherboard before the end of the year, according to the company's chief executive officer (CEO), Wen-chi Chen.

Small enough to fit on the end of a finger, the Nano-BGA (Ball Grid Array) version of Via's 1GHz C3 processor measures 15mm x 15mm and was announced at the Via Technology Forum, that is being held with the Computex exhibition.

The Nano-BGA C3 uses the same silicon die found in Via's existing C3 chips. However, the tiny Nano-BGA package that encases the silicon core of the chip had allowed Via to make it smaller, Via spokesman, Tim Handley, said.

The Nano-BGA C3 will be paired with a new motherboard form factor, the Nano-ITX, that is smaller than existing PC motherboards.

Small motherboards such as the Nano-ITX are crucial components for devices such as computer-equipped TVs and home entertainment systems, that require a small footprint, Chen said.

The Nano-ITX motherboard measures 120mm x 120mm, substantially smaller than the Mini-ITX motherboard form factor, the smallest PC motherboard form factor measuring 170mm x 170 mm.

Both the Nano-BGA chip and the Nano-ITX board ship in volume by the first quarter of next year, Chen said. Pricing was not disclosed.

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