Looking to get your movie watching on? Turn to Zotac. The company might not be at HP’s level in terms of sales, but when it comes to HTPCs, few companies deliver better small form factor results. The company’s ZBox line has been a go-to brand for video streaming enthusiasts, and now, there’s a new Zotac ZBox available that ditches Intel and AMD in favor of a VIA processor.
Without giving anything away, we can say you won't find VIA's EPIA-M900 mini-ITX motherboard in this year's Dream Machine. Where it will end up is in small form factor (SFF) embedded devices like ATMs and home automation systems, to give just two examples. The main draw here, and one VIA is highly touting, is that the EPIA-M900 is the world's first motherboard to sport a 64-bit Nano X2 E-Series dual-core processor (clocked at 1.6GHz).
Hey, look who's finally joining the quad-core party! It's VIA, who according to reports, is announcing a new chip aptly called "QuadCore." The new part is comprised of two Nano X2 chips slapped onto a single package for a low-cost, low-power processor that will debut sometime in late 2011.
VIA says its just-announced Nano X2 dual-core chip brings advanced multi-core performance to energy efficient PCs without raising heat output.
"The VIA Nano X2 processor arrives at a time when software architectures are now optimized for multi-thread computing," commented Richard Brown, VP International Marketing, VIA Technologies. "Improvements in semi-conductor fabrication means we can now double the number of processor cores while maintaining the same low energy consumption levels that our customers are used to."
The new chip is built on a 40nm manufacturing process and is one reason why VIA says it was able to keep power consumption down. It's based on the advanced 64-bit superscaler "Isaiah" architecture of previous single-core VIA Nano processors and features SSE4, native 64-bit support, full processor virtualization support, pin-to-pin compatibility with other other VIA processors, and a few other odds and ends.
VIA has made a living by cramming big features onto small packages, and that's certainly the case with the company's new EITX-3001. Built around the Em-ITX form factor, VIA's fanless next-gen device measures just 17cm (W) x 12cm (L) and sports a trumped up feature set.
"With the VIA EITX-3001 we're offering a full-featured board that is the ideal starting point for much slimmer, fanless and rugged devices," said Daniel Wu, Vice President, VIA Embedded Platform Division, VIA Technologies, Inc. "The VIA EITX-3001 combines versatility with ruthless stability at extreme temperatures in a form factor that is ideal for space constrained industrial and commercial environments."
The tiny board sports the latest VIA Nano E-Series processor clocked at 1.3GHz and pairs it with the company's VX855 media system processor. Between the two, the EITX-3001 is able to handle 1080p HD video. It also comes with integrated Chrome9 HCM graphics, five USB 2.0 host ports, Gigabit networking, support for 5-wire/4-wire resistive touch interface connectors, and HDMI.
We've been hearing about a dual-core Nano processor for some time now, and VIA has finally gone and built one. Currently in prototype form, VIA has been busy showing off its newest x86 part at this year's Computex show.
The new dual-core part was shown chugging along at 1.6GHz per core. According to C.J. Holthaus, a member of VIA's Centaur processor design team, it was manufactured on a 65nm process and is nearly ready for release.
"It'll be a product in about six months. This is mainly a technology demonstration," Holthaus said.
A 65nm manufacturing process isn't all that impressive at this stage in the processor game, and the final version will be built using something different. Holthaus declined to give specifics, saying only that it would use a "next-generation" technology.
This is good timing on VIA's part. Intel just recently laid out its future Atom processor strategy, which will also consist of dual-core parts and be aimed at the tablet and ultra-thin netbook space.
VIA says its new ARTiGO A1100 DIY PC kit is "for enthusiasts who want to taste the most extreme, ultra-compact desktop computing experience," and they might be right. The ARTiGO isn't too much bigger than a smartphone, yet there's a full fledged PC inside, albeit nothing to replace your high-end desktop.
Tear the thing open and you'll find a 1.2GHz VIA Nano processor. You'll also find five USB ports, HD video support, HDMI and VGA display connectivity, Gigabit networking, Wi-Fi support, and three audio jacks, all stuffed in and around a chassis small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. More specifically, the entire thing measures just 5.7 inches x 3.9 inches x 2 inches.
"The VIA ARTiGO A1100 redefines compact computing, bringing all the features of a regular desktop PC in a form factor that needs to be seen to be believed," said Daniel Wu, Vice President, VIA Embedded Platform Division, VIA Technologies, Inc. "By harnessing our expertise in creating leading edge form factor systems, we're offering consumers something that absolutely breaks the mold."
All that's left is to add your own memory, hard drive, wireless module, SD card reader, and OS. If you can get VIA's store to load (we had a bit of trouble earlier today), you can pick one up today for $243, or $199 if you're one of the first 10 customers.
VIA this week announced its new VN1000 digital media chipset, which the company claims is the "world's most power efficient DX10.1 chipset" on the planet.
Providing the DirectX 10.1 graphics is VIA's Chrome 520 IGP, which boasts the same traits as the Chrome 500-series, such as a 500MHz GPU and 32 stream processors. It also supports Shader Model 4, OpenGL 3.0, and OpenCL 1.0.
VIA says its high-performance ChromotionHD 2.0 video processor also offers advanced filter and "ultra smooth decoding" of MPEG-4/AVC, H.264, MPEG-2, VC-1, WMV-HD, and AVS video for Blu-ray content.
"The VIA VN1000 leverages our optimized VIA Nano 3000 Series processors, creating the most balanced, power-efficient, multimedia-focused desktop platform on the market today," said Richard Brown, VP International Marketing, VIA. "Supporting the latest system memory, graphics, and entertainment standards, the VIA VN1000 takes the VIA processor platform to new heights of power-efficient visual sophistication."
Other features include support for DDR3 memory at speeds up to 1066MHz, a single x8 and four x1 PCI-E lanes, up to ficve PCI slots, and 8-channel audio.
Lenovo’s IdeaPad S12 is the soul of a netbook trapped in the anatomy of a notebook. It has now become clear that Lenovo plans to release three variants of this 12-inch netbook, which it had announced as the world’s first Ion-based netbook last month – the Ion-based SKU will be available later in the summer. Lenovo has begun accepting pre-orders for a Nano-based variant of this netbook. Of course, an Atom-powered SKU is also available.
The Via Nano powered IdeaPad S12 features a VIA Nano ULV 2250 processor and VIA Chrome9 HC3 graphics. The combination is expected to outperform the Atom-based S12 variant, featuring the Atom N270 processor along with Intel 945GSE chipset. The Nano-powered S12 can be ordered for $449, whereas its Atom-toting counterpart is priced $499.
Starting in June, Shuttle plans to show off two new nettops at Computex as part of its Embedded Slim-series. Both systems -- XS92 and XS92F -- will be powered by VIA's Nano processors.
The XS92 will come equipped with VIA's L-series chips, specifically the L2100 (1.8GHz, 25W) and L2200 (1.6GHz, 17W). Meanwhile, the XS92F will trade a bit of performance for better power management by utilizing VIA's U-series. The U-series range in speed from 1GHz to 1.3GHz while sipping just 5W to 8W. Because of the super low power draw, the U-series boast a fanless, noise-free design.
Further details remain scarce, including release date and pricing information.