EPIA SP to preview at Computex
May 28, 2004

VIA will be previewing the first EPIA Mini-ITX motherboard to feature the CN400 chipset next week at Computex 2004 in Taipei. The EPIA SP will be powered by the same C5P core C3 processor used in the recent EPIA MII 12000, meaning it will have AES encryption/decryption and 2 random number generators in hardware. As usual for VIA, there will be two versions when it is eventually released later in the summer - a passively cooled Eden "E" version (the 800MHz SP 8000E), and a faster actively cooled C3 version of the board (the 1.3GHz SP 13000).

The CN400 chipset consists of VIA's CN400 North Bridge, which includes the enhanced S3 Unichrome Pro graphics core - giving amongst other things full MPEG-2 decoding, MPEG-4 acceleration and HDTV graphics resolutions. The VT8237 South Bridge provides the board's connectivity, including SATA and V-RAID, supporting RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID+1 arrays, as well as 6-channel surround sound. Regular readers will remember that the CN400 chipset will be used in the EPIA N (Nano-ITX) boards later this year.

The back panel has: 2 x PS/2, Serial, VGA, Ethernet, 2 x USB 2.0, S-Video, RCA/SPDIF, 3 x Audio Jacks. On the board: 1 x PCI Slot, 2 x SATA, 2 x IDE, 1 x DDR400 DIMM slot. Selected pin headers: Firewire, 6 x USB 2.0, VIP, Serial. Chips (from the left): VIA C3 or Eden CPU, CN400 North Bridge, VT8237 South Bridge. Full specifications here.

Set top box manufacturers will be looking at the combination of quiet operation, AES encryption, MPEG acceleration and video input potential (through VIP and optional LVDS pin headers on the board) with interest...

We'll be at Computex too, and there may even be a working Nanode for the perusal of a lucky few. The VIA stand is in Hall 2, booth F181.

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