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Home | News Archive | March 2004

Obligatory EPIA N Pictures
March 24, 2004

We've shown various development stages of VIA's Nano-ITX sized board over the past few months, and this time we have the latest prototype from the VIA stand at CeBIT. The visible differences are: this one actually has a heatsink, and a simpler style of power socket (10 connectors instead of 20 as on the previous prototypes). The EPIA N board will be driven by a CN400 Northbridge and VT8237 Southbridge, which means Serial ATA, S3's Unichrome Pro graphics with built-in MPEG-2 decoder and MPEG-4 acceleration, and 6-channel "VIA Vinyl" Audio. Memory is provided by up to 1GB on a single DDR266, 333 or 400 SODIMM. VIA anticipate 533Mhz, 800Mhz and 1Ghz versions - all with fanless "Eden" CPUs.

And in case we confuse you in future: Nano-ITX is the 12x12cm form factor. EPIA N is the first range of boards to be produced in that form factor - and if we don't see you for a few days, we just installed Unreal Tournament...

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Nano-ITX Case Reference Designs
March 22, 2004

In no particular order we're writing up the contents of our digital camera, safely returned from CeBIT 2004 - or to the untrained eye, the Hanover CPU plumbing and USB memory stick exhibition. In this instalment are our pictures of a selection of reference design Nano-ITX enclosures commisioned by VIA. Some of the designs might not make it to market exactly as seen here, and maybe even not at all - but they do show what is possible with the forthcoming Nano-ITX motherboard, the 12 x 12cm EPIA N. Incidentally, VIA's EPIA N Specifications can now be found here...

Nano-ITX Case Reference Designs at CeBIT 2004

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Official launch of the "Nanode"
March 19, 2004

We're going to the official launch of the Nanode at CeBIT in 20 minutes, but we couldn't contain ourselves any longer - here's the official launch page.

We'll be launching a new website - www.nanode.com - in a few weeks time. If any arty technoid types out there are interested in helping design it with us, why not send us an email?

Nanode Official Launch Page

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The "Nanode" - a sneak preview
March 17, 2004

If things have been a little quiet on the site recently, we apologise. This is the reason: it's a collaboration between Mini-ITX.com and Hoojum Designs, and we're calling it the "Nanode". It's the first system designed for VIA's forthcoming 12x12cm Nano-ITX motherboards, and we're quite excited about it. The aluminium shelled Nanode is finished in glorious white enamel and is suited for any environment where size or noise levels are at a premium. It's not quite available yet - but when the boards arrive it will be available exclusively through Mini-ITX.com. We're taking this pre-production model to CeBIT tomorrow so some lucky press types can have a look. Stay tuned - more details and plenty of other CeBIT coverage will follow!

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The "Underwood No. 5"
March 13, 2004

Joel Zahn collects typewriters, so naturally he chose an Underwood No. 5 four-bank frontstrike example from his collection for his Mini-ITX project.

To keep the spirit of the 1923 machine alive, Joel used a program to attach authentic home-made samples of a working Underwood to keypresses, and play them through built-in speakers. Apparently it can run Windows 68...

Joel Zahn's "Underwood No. 5"

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A selection of weeny PCs
March 08, 2004

We like small electronics gizmos here at Mini-ITX. Constantly diminishing size and increasing power keeps us interested, and we're hoping to see some interesting developments at CeBIT along those lines next week. VIA's Nano-ITX looks like it will fill a space between Mini-ITX and the wide and varied Single Board Computer market. Although they aren't really comparable, we thought we'd present a selection of SBCs released over the past few months - for no other reason than they're almost "too wee"...

The P50x Spider from General Micro Systems is powered by up to a 800MHz PowerPC processor with 256MB SDRAM with an SD slot for storage, contains two Gigabit ethernet ports and measures just 72mm x 48mm x 10mm.

The Linux Rocket from Data Design Corporation is so small - 45mm square - that to do useful things it piggy backs onto a slightly larger plug-in board providing a DC-DC converter and interface ports. The powering CPU is an IBM Power PC 405 GPr running at up to 400Mhz.

Gumstix measure 20mm x 80mm, and come in two flavours of Intel XScale PXA255 processor, 200Mhz and 400Mhz. For a little more wedge, a small case with 1 USB and 2 Serial ports is available.

The T-Cube from Japan's Personal Media Company measures 52mm x 52mm x 45 mm high, and runs the T-Engine Operating System on an NEC VR5701 processor, with a Compact Flash slot and 2 USB ports.

P50x Spider

Linux Rocket

Gumstix

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Scythe's E-Otonashi Fanless EPIA M Case
March 02, 2004

Scythe in Japan, makers of some rather desirable heatsinks and cooling products, have created the noiseless E-Otonashi case, specially for the popular EPIA M 10000 motherboard. The E-Otonashi makes use of a rather clever Heatlane heatpipe attached between the 1Ghz C3 CPU and the original CPU heatsink (with original fan removed). Our upside-down picture shows the rather meaty rubber-sleeved black-anodized aluminum heatsink on the base. The chassis measures 280(W) x 190(D) x 90(H) mm and takes a 2.5in laptop-style hard drive and slimline optical drive, and the whole case is powered by a Universal 60W PSU, making the whole setup entirely fanless. We'll take some snaps of ours soon, in the meantime check out Silent Mike's review, or snap one up for yourself at our online store.

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Tranquil "T3" Competition
March 01, 2004

Tranquil will be busy at CeBIT this year - they'll be announcing two new near-silent machines, codenamed "T2" and "T3". We can't reveal too many details yet - we'd have to kill you - but think "expansion options" for the T2 and "small and compact" for the T3 and you'll get the idea. We've created a little competition to win one of the first T3s to come off the production line - and in the true tradition of village fetes, all you need to do is guess the weight of an object...

Tranquil "T3" Competition

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