VIA's Samuel 2 in August 2001
There were rumors on the net that the VIA would not get the Samuel2 ready on time. VIA contradicted these rumors, everything was going according to plan: it seems that the first pre-series models were produced at the beginning of September, and test samples will be delivered to PC and mainboard manufacturers in December.
If VIA should really make it and bring the Samuel 2 onto the market in August, we can expect a low-cost performance duel. The Samuel starts with 800MHz and around the same time Intel announced the Celeron with 800MHz. We'll see if the Celeron will stay ahead of the curve this time too. In the previous comparison against the Cyrix III (predecessor of Samuel's) the Celeron was clearly better, the reason was the missing L2 cache of the Cyrix processor. The Samuel, on the other hand, has a 64 KB level 2 cache and, according to some rumors, is manufactured using the 0.15µ process. Thanks to the Socket 370 construction, the Samuel will fit into any PPGA or FC-PGA socket motherboard and should overtake Intel's low-cost processor, Celeron.