Thursday, April 19, 2007

VIA Announces Pico-ITX Boards

Once again, VIA is shrinking the PC motherboard. First they released the
Mini-ITX form factor at
17cm x 17cm which is now commonly used on
robots. Next came the Nano-ITX at 12cm x 12cm. The Nano-ITX, while
sounding very promising for robotics use, was plagued with delays and
when it finally became available was priced out of range for robot
hobbyists. Today VIA announced the long rumored Pico-ITX,
which is only 10cm x 7.2cm. VIA has managed to shrink everything you
need on a PC motherboard down to two chips, a C7 or Eden CPU and a VX700
chip that combines all the I/O functionality. Speaking of I/O, the board
has IDE and SATA connectors, 10/100 Ethernet, four USB 2 ports, audio
and video ports, and one RS-232. Unlike the Mini-ITX, this board appears
not to have an I2C port, so you'd need to add a microcontroller to
get some additional I/O for robotics use. No pricing was announced,
but with Atmel's recent release of a $69 Linux SBC, it will be
interesting to see how competitive VIA can be. For more details see the Pico-ITX
whitepaper (PDF format). Read on for the full text of today's press
release from VIA.


No comments: