Future EPIAs explained...
July 21, 2004
Perhaps we should explain where the ever-growing EPIA Mini-ITX range is headed over the next few months. Each VIA EPIA board generally has 2 variants, a silent "E" variant with a fanless Eden processor, and a slightly faster but fanned one using the C3 processor. Dividing the model number by 10 usually reveals the CPU speed in MHz. An EPIA with an "A" after the model name is normally a variant without TV Output.
The popular EPIA CL with 2 LAN ports has morphed into the EPIA PD, with improved powering options for the RS232 pin headers and a new digital I/O interface. EPIA PDs have started reaching retailers, and CL supplies are drying up. The EPIA V range will most probably be discontinued shortly.
The EPIA MS is the low-profile CLE266 chipset board mentioned in Day 5 of our Computex 2004 report, and uses SODIMMs to keep its svelt figure. It will actually be available in 3 versions, the fanless EPIA MS 8000E, EPIA MS 10000E and the fanned EPIA MS 12000.
The EPIA SP will be the first MPEG-4-decoding CN400 chipset Mini-ITX board, and will be available in EPIA SP 8000E and EPIA SP 13000 variants. Pictures of this are in Day 1 of our Computex report.
The EPIA ML is a curious beast, a cut-down EPIA M without TV output and with slower CPU speeds. The models available will be the EPIA ML 5000EA and EPIA ML 8000A. At first glance and at a similar price it would make a good EPIA 5000 / 800 replacement, but without the TV output VIA may have trouble convincing some people it is a worthy replacement. New EPIA boards are often the product of large orders from industry, which may be how this board came about. Maybe 10,000 of us should club together and request our own custom EPIA design?
All the above 3 boards should hit all good retailers sometime in September.
Slightly further down the line are the now almost mythical CN400-based EPIA N Nano-ITX boards, possibly to be available in 3 different variants. Working versions we've recently used had early BIOS revisions and didn't have their final heatsink designs. The 12x12cm EPIA Ns are scheduled for release towards the end of the year.
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