Looks set to start the wave
VIA Technologies, a company that used to be at the forefront of microprocessor design in its heyday, seems to be trying to make a resurgence. With that in mind, on Wednesday they revealed the first ever dual core pico-ITX motherboard. The company has managed to squeeze in a respectable 1GHz VIA Eden X2 CPU and a VIA VX900H Media System Processor on to a minute board measuring a little less than 4.0” x 3”.
Four gigabytes of DDR3 memory, HD audio and 1080p HDMI video, VGA and 24-bit LVDS display connectivity all feature. The rear panel boasts one HDMI and one VGA port each, two USB 2.0 ports as well as a GigaLAN port. Couple that with onboard pin headers to gain five more USB 2.0 ports, an LPC connector, and SMBus connector, PS/2 support, audio jacks, LVDS, two UART ports and four pairs of DIO ports, and you have a mighty impressive little package indeed.
The VIA ChromotionHD 2.0 video engine is also present for high-performance HD video decoding, and according to VIA,
”The VIA ChromotionHD 2.0 engine provides advanced filtering and cutting edge post-processing to perform ultra smooth decoding of H.264, MPEG-2, VC-1, WMV9, and HDCP for Blu-ray content protection providing smooth playback of the most demanding multimedia titles at resolutions up to 1080p without incurring a heavy CPU load. The VIA EPIA-P900 features the VIA Vinyl VT2021, a 10 channel HD audio codec, delivering outstanding sound quality and support for Blu-ray and HD DVD Audio Content Protection.”
“The VIA Pico-ITX allows embedded system design to pack unprecedented levels of performance into even smaller form factors,” said Epan Wu Head of the VIA Embedded Platform Division, VIA Technologies, Inc. “The new VIA EPIA-P900 opens up exciting new possibilities for innovation in ultra compact embedded designs.”
This new baby looks set to spark a new embedded-solutions race, with traditional industry giants AMD and Intel coming under heavy fire from Nvidia’s and ARM’s embedded SoC solutions, which are massively more efficient and cost-effective than mobile versions of traditional AMD/Intel architectures. Embedded solutions like VIA’s are the only way forward, it seems, and a revolution in HTPC and tablet PC design, and hence gaming technology, is underway.
Here’s hoping VIA makes it with their EPIA-P900.
No information about actual consumer interest (read pricing or availability) was given, so stay tuned for the update.
You can visit the official site here.