Home | News Archive | June 2006

VIA's "John" Technology
June 29, 2006

Very Wee PC

Wenchi Chen, President and CEO of VIA Technologies, gave a sneak peak of "John" during the VTF 2006 opening keynote address at Computex this year. John follows the biblically named Matthew, Mark and Luke in stuffing major x86 components into small spaces.

On the board here, John is actually the dark green blob top left, fitting a CPU and Northbridge onto a 35x35mm package. Most of the rest of the chips on the (unnamed) board support the interfaces and power regulation. Being a VIA creation, it has power management to save power and Padlock security features built in, and looks to be aimed at future hand held devices.

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Nano-ITX in a Football
June 26, 2006

Nano-ITX Football PC

Spotted on the Foxconn stand at Computex was a cunningly hidden fully working Nano-ITX motherboard. Can you guess where it is?

Inside the football

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VIA's "Vogue" Mini-PC
June 20, 2006

Vogue PC

VIA Technologies launched their "Vogue PC Reference Design" platform during the VTF 2006 opening keynote address at Computex this year. A Vogue PC can be modified using VIA's erm, "QuickSlip" technology - i.e. an internal enclosure containing all components that can easily be placed into different housings. During their brief catwalk appearance a sporty, classic and feminine look were on show, all designed by Taiwanese studio Cre8 Design.

Equally of interest were the specifications given, offering a glimpse into the future of C7 Mini-ITX boards: A Mini-ITX board with C7 processor, but with a *CN800* chipset and optional S3 Graphics Chrome20 Series DX9 accelerator. Bumps in chipset technology generally go hand in hand with graphics or audio improvements. The CN700 chipset (EPIA EN, EPIA CN) promises HDTV capabilities, the CX700M (EPIA EX) seems to add HD Audio on top of that. The CN750+VT8251 should add H.264 and WMV9 in hardware, so the CN800 presumably packs in the S3 graphics somehow. Unless it uses a separate graphics card. We're speculating a little here.

VIA's Vogue Computing site

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UnityCorp's "Piccolo" Nano-ITX Case
June 16, 2006

Piccolo from Unity

This blue beauty is a 13513575mm Nano-ITX case called the "Piccolo" from UnityCorp in Japan. We took a quick look at it while we were watching the football reporting valuable news items for you over at Computex.

More description and pictures

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VIA preview EPIA EX motherboard
June 10, 2006

EPIA EX

VIA Technologies this week previewed their EPIA EX, a Mini-ITX motherboard firmly aimed at the media playback market. The C7-powered board has a feature that has been lacking on all previous EPIA boards to date: a DVI output.

More specifications and pictures

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Mini-ITX boards may take your money
June 08, 2006

Mini-ITX boards may take your money

Those of you with a penchant for brightly coloured lights, unlimited buffets and 3/4 size historically inaccurate facsimiles of various parts of the world may already have been relieved from their loose change by a Mini-ITX powered gaming machine.

Continued...

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Visson's weather resistant PC
June 08, 2006

Visson's Weatherproof PC

The "Iceman" from Visson Technologies is a fanless Mini-ITX PC measuring 212 x 206 x 64 mm. It is also dust and water resistant, as ably demonstrated by their demo unit on VIA's stand at Computex this year. There is space inside for a 2.5in Hard Drive, or a Disk On Module if you prefer your drives solid state. The board inside the Iceman is an EPIA EN, one of many C7 powered boards we'll be looking at over the next few days.

The "Iceman" (visson.com.tw)

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VIA launch C7 EPIA CN boards
June 04, 2006

VIA Technologies have officially launched their C7 powered EPIA CN range of Mini-ITX motherboards, just in time for Computex 2006. As first spotted at CeBit, the CN boards feature a VIA C7 Processor; VIA CN700 Chipset with integrated Unichrome Pro Graphics with MPEG-2 Decoder; one DDR2 400/533 DIMM slot; VGA connector; S-Video & RCA TV Output; PCI slot; 2 x IDE; 2 x SATA with native RAID 0/1; 6 Channel Audio; Firewire; 4 x USB 2.0 ports (& pin headers for 4 more); 1 COM port; 10/100 Ethernet.

Full specifications (VIA website)

Like most previous EPIAs, the EPIA CN board will be available in two versions: The fan cooled EPIA CN 13000, featuring a 1.3GHz C7 processor, and the fanless EPIA CN 10000E, with a 1.0 GHz C7 processor. This is a step up from the C3 processors, which generally require fan cooling at 1GHz - and according to VIA, their 90nm process C7 processors consume less power than their earlier cousins, as well as producing less heat and running slightly faster. The EPIA CN's support for DDR2 memory saves more power, running at 1.8 Volts compared to 2.5 Volts for DDR memory - though adding to upgrade costs for some.

With RoHS compliance deadlines and Intel licence issues to contend with, the EPIA range is set for a long awaited shake up over the coming months. Some existing boards are already proving hard to source. Once the dust settles, it will be clearer where in the range the CN sits. We look forward to taking a closer look.

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Ask VIA a Question
June 02, 2006

Here's an idea. We'll be visiting Computex in Taiwan next week, to see what Mini-ITX delights are on offer. If anyone has a question they'd like us to ask the people in the know at VIA Technologies, just email us (feedback@mini-itx.com) before June 10th. Any topic at all. We'll attempt to get them all answered while we're there, and publish the results on our return. We'll give a prize to the best question. And if nobody sends anything in, we'll make up some questions and keep our damn prize.

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