VIA's open source laptop design
May 27, 2008
VIA Technologies have made inroads into the buoyant UMPC market over the past few months with the same CPU and chipset technologies used on their Mini-ITX boards.
Their OpenBook is a low cost laptop design released under a Creative Commons ShareAlike license, meaning OEMs can download the CAD files for nothing and create their own versions with just a nod to VIA. Specifications of course include a VIA 1.6GHz C7-M processor and VX800M chipset, with a wealth of wireless modules including WiFi/Bluetooth, AGPS, WiMAX, EV-DO, HSDPA and WCDMA all possible.
The OpenBook weighs 1Kg and measures 240 x 175 x 36.2mm with a 1024 x 600 pixel 8.9in screen, up to 2GB DDR2 RAM, a 2MP camera, memory card reader and a 4 cell battery giving 3 hours battery life.
The VX800M chipset is also new from VIA, and is the first to support both the C7-M and their forthcoming Isaiah processor, perhaps suggesting future OpenBooks will get a speed bump. The VX800M also supports MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VC1 and DivX video decoding acceleration - however support for acceleration features on previous VIA chipsets has been weak, so we'll cross our fingers and reserve judgement until we actually test a VX800M based system.
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