Home | News Archive | March 2005

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.

VIA plan to introduce chipsets later this year utilising dual-core processors from both AMD and Intel

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The "Cool Cube"
March 09, 2005

Travis Hydzik won't have trouble keeping his case cool, as he built it entirely out of eighteen 80mm fans and Aluminum C-channel. Add a fan controller and 4 mini cold cathodes and you have...

Travis Hydzik's "Cool Cube"

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VIA launches "Luke" Platform
March 08, 2005

VIA today launched their "Luke" Corefusion Processing Platform at the Embedded Systems Conference 2005 in San Francisco, California. Luke combines both an EdenT-N CPU and CN400 Northbridge into one convenient aluminium package, reducing board real estate beyond Nano-ITX dimensions.

Luke has all the video playback and acceleration features of the CN400 and supports LVDS, DVI, TV and VGA output, and is being targetted at customers with flat panel system designs such as Car Entertainment systems, Notebooks and Intelligent Displays. The CPU can be clocked up to 1GHz, and the platform supports both DDR 333 and 400 memory. Integrated S3 UnichromeT Pro IGP graphics provide MPEG-2 decoding and MPEG-4 acceleration, and the whole platform can be coupled a VT8235M, VT8237R or the upcoming VT8251 South Bridge to provide external connectivity such as 6 channel audio, SATA, Gigabit Ethernet, PCI Express and USB 2.0 (depending on which South Bridge you choose)

Front View

Top View

Long standing readers will remember that "Mark" was a combined CLE266/Eden platform announced by VIA in 2003. "Luke" continues the Biblical (or is it Star Wars?) theme, and is expected to be seen in products later this year.

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Travla's hybrid Nano/Mini-ITX case
March 04, 2005

Travla's charming C156 case is unique in that it supports both existing Mini-ITX boards, and fabled future Nano-ITX boards. The miniscule C156 measures just 7 x 7 x 2.6 inches (not including the carrying handle on the back), and will be available in the 4 fresh colours modelled here. Expect to see this on VIA's stand at CeBIT, with an EPIA-N inside. Perhaps while you wait for a Nano-ITX to secrete in it, your better half can use it as a fashionably exclusive techno tote.

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