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.