VIA's EPIA EX almost here?
January 17, 2007
VIA Technologies are moving closer to releasing their EPIA EX Mini-ITX motherboard. The EPIA EX was first spotted in June 2006 and hinted at during CeBIT 3 months previously. Starter kits were up for grabs to registered developers back in November and an official announcement was made at the end of December.
Two versions will be available, the EPIA EX15000G powered by a 1.5GHz C7 processor and a fanless version powered by a 1.0GHz C7 Eden processor. If you can buy enough of them, VIA will stick a Gigabit LAN in place of the standard 10/100.
The usual suspect board back panel outputs are bolstered by DVI, optical audio and component video connections (though no HDMI) - VIA are targetting the EX at the x86 consumer electronics market and hope to see it in lots of devices from small to medium sized manufacturers looking to reduce their development costs and time to market.
The CX700M2 chipset is of most interest - the UniChrome Pro II 2D/3D graphics core promises hardware decoding acceleration of MPEG-2/-4 and WMV9 video, HDTV output up to 1080i and multi-channel HD audio. The CX700M2 chipset follows on from where the CN700 left off and at first glance appears to be broadly similar to Intel's recent mobile chipsets in capabilities. Let's hope VIA can offer software developers enough support to get these features utilised.
VIA Epia EX Motherboard Specifications
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