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Atom boards aplenty at Computex
June 05, 2008

Intel Atom powered Mini-ITX boards from Intel, Foxconn, Gigabyte, J&W, MSI and Jetway are making appearances on stands at Computex 2008 in Taipei this week.

Intel's D945GCLF 'Little Falls' board started the ball rolling and is already available to purchase.

Despite baby-rearing duties keeping our intrepid reporters away from trade shows this year, we've put together a gallery of Atom boards from various sources. We'll add more as and when they are spotted. Many thanks to Hexus, Tweaktown and Bit-Tech.

Most of the Atom boards so far have 2x SATA II ports due to the ICH7M chipset, though boards with the ICH7 chipset will be capable of supporting 4x SATA II ports. It's unclear at this stage which of the boards will be fanless as manufacturers often display boards without fans or even heatsinks attached.

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VIA announces new Mini-ITX 2.0 standard
June 05, 2008

Mini-ITX 2.0

VIA Technologies today announced a new minimum specification for Mini-ITX motherboards.

Mini-ITX 2.0 keeps the 17 x 17cm form factor we know and love, but updates several key areas.

  • Processor: High-performance, power efficient x86 processor, such as the VIA Nano processor
  • Memory: Support for minimum 2GB DDR2 SDRAM
  • Graphics: DirectX 9.0 integrated (IGP); DirectX 10 through an add-in card
  • Display: 1 VGA port for LCD display; 1 HDMI port on add-in card
  • HD Audio: 3 Audio jacks for up to 6-channel surround sound
  • Broadband Connectivity: 1 Gigabit LAN port
  • Storage: 2 Serial ATA II slots + 1 IDE (PATA) slot
  • Peripheral Connectivity: Minimum 4 USB2.0 ports
  • Expansion: 1 PCI Express 16-lane slot
  • Size: 17cm x 17cm
  • O/S Support: Microsoft® Windows Vista®; Microsoft Windows Vista Premium (through an add-in graphics card); Microsoft Windows® XP, and major Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Suse Linux and gOS

The first Mini-ITX boards hit the streets in early 2002 and since then many manufacturers have produced boards using their own interpretation of the specifications.

None of the Mini-ITX 2.0 features are particularly ground breaking in 2008 but they do set a new baseline, one that hasn't been set in a long time. A "Mini-ITX 2.0" board will bring a guarantee of Vista support, DX10 expandability, Gigabit LAN, SATA 2.0 and a PCI Express slot.

VIA expect motherboards and systems based around the Mini-ITX 2.0 standard to be available from leading vendors in the fourth quarter of 2008.

VIA's Mini-ITX 2.0 page

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