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VIA Details VX855 Media System Processor


VIA Details VX855 Media System Processor

Backing up its Nano and C7 CPUs, VIA has launched the VX855 Media System Processor (MSP), its solution for high definition playback in small form factor and mobile devices. The chip is capable of decoding H.264, MPEG-2, MPEG-4, DivX/XviD and VC1 encoded content.

As well as supporting both Nano, Eden and C7 processors, the VX855 MSP also caters for up to 4GB of DDR2 RAM, up to six USB ports and boasts 8-channel sound decoding. Chrome9 DirectX 9 graphics are also present, providing enough grunt to run Aero, at least.

Intel's current GN40 chipset, as sported by the most recent Atom netbooks can only cope with 720p video, so VIA has the advantage there. Nvidia's Ion platform, conversely, does also offer 1080p-decoding, but we've yet to see a retail product using it as Intel isn't exactly co-operating with Nvidia. VIA could have the 1080p-capable netbook market to itself for a while, if it can get VX855 into a netbook soon, then. Whether customers want such a device is a different matter, though.

Still, those wondering what, if any, rival VIA would have to Nvidia and Intel and those companies' netbook offerings now have their answer.




March 13, 2009, 3:36 pm

With the greatest respect, I think 1080p decoding is a ridiculous proposition on a netbook - 720p I could understand but how on earth is a netbook going to display 1920x1080 res images??

What I don't understand is why you haven't mentioned this chip's use in a low power htpc, that'd be able to run an x86 OS without taking up a huge chunk of space under your tv and didn't sound like a jet engine preparing for take off - it's the same with the ion platform - pure overkill for a netbook, fantastic proposition for a blu-ray capable htpc (if it can pull off the 1080p decode that is).


March 13, 2009, 5:18 pm

I have a notebook with a blu ray player but only 720p display but via a hdmi socket it will output the full 1080p display so not so stupid when a netbook is basically the same size as a dvd player.


March 13, 2009, 5:36 pm

I've never understood the point of mobile devices being able to play 1080p video, when to actually view that material in high definition, you need to connect it to a device with a large screen (i.e. a TV), negating its usefulness seeing its main asset is portability. Surely it would make more sense to just get a dedicated device for the home? It defies logic really...


March 13, 2009, 5:53 pm

fair point... I guess I posted without thinking... plugging a netbook into a 1080p display is a pretty simple solution, but it's more of a secondary function for a cheap as chips small & portable laptop.

I personally think HTPC when I see tech like this and it seems obvious to me that that's where its primary aim ought to be...

...but maybe it's easier to pitch it at a growing netbook market rather than a niche crowd of htpc enthusiasts


March 13, 2009, 6:13 pm

I thought that the Nano was supposed to be an all-singing all-dancing 1080p-decoding wunder-processor to beat the Atom to begin with. If they're having to ship with with a media coprocessor that's sounding a lot like hot air.


March 13, 2009, 6:37 pm

most of netbook users, including me, have other means of displaying data, such as a projector, larger monitor or a TV. said that, most of those having a projector, larger monitor or a TV usually have other means of displaying videos than a netbook. So the advantage lies in merely a bit of convenience of not turning those devices on or whatever. as for me, i see little sense in all this.


March 13, 2009, 8:10 pm

Re 1080p decoding - it's more about outputting options on the move. With integrated HDMI a netbook with this video horsepower would be brilliant for connecting to displays/projectors outside the home for either leisure or business purposes.

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