VIA launches Dual CPU Mini-ITX
March 14, 2005
VIA launched their dual processor EPIA DP-310 Mini-ITX board at CeBIT this week, as part of a push into the commodity server market.
The strategy is to include a "stable image" programme - as introduced by Intel in the 1990s - to reduce the total cost of ownership through a standardised hardware base, and fewer unnecessary hardware upgrades. This approach can already be seen with the long life cycles of Mini-ITX boards.
The EPIA DP-310 has a number of features particularly attractive to the appliance and high density server market segments. The board is powered by Dual Eden-N CPUs running at 1GHz, and has 3 Ethernet interfaces: 2 running at 100Mbit and one at Gigabit speeds. Two DDR266/333/400 DIMM slots double the maximum memory possible on an EPIA to 2GB. Two Serial ATA ports and one standard IDE port link to hard and optical drives. Connectivity is provided in the form of 2 USB 2.0 ports and 1 serial port. Pin headers on the board provide links to audio, plus 2 more USB ports and another serial port. In addition to the PCI slot, there is a Mini-PCI slot underneath the board.
The hardware demonstrated at CeBIT consisted of an EPIA DP board in a single rackmount enclosure, the forthcoming C159 case from Travla. Early EPIA DP prototypes have been demonstrated before, though the boards shown at CeBIT are the first to use the CN400 chipset.
The power efficiency of the board (up to 7W for each CPU, plus a little extra for the supporting chips) makes low power consumption, high density computing very possible - 168 CPUs in a single 42U Rack at around 2.5kW has been quoted. VIA expect a 60-100% performance gain in most applications, compared to a single CPU machine.
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