VIA this week unveiled what it claims is the first product based on the recently announced Mobile-ITX form factor, the EPIA-T700. It measures just 6cm x 6cm and is intended primarily for medical, military, and in-vehicle applications.
"The VIA EPIA-T700 takes advantage of the modular design principles inherent in our Mobile-ITX form factor specification, making it easier than ever before to create astonishingly compact x86 devices that don't compromise on features," said Daniel Wu, Vice President, VIA Embedded Platform Division, VIA.
VIA says its module can be used with a variety of carrier boards and is fully customizable. At the heart of the EPIA-T700 is a miniaturized 1GHz VIA Eden ULV processor and 512MB of DDR2 on-board memory.
There's still innovation in PC audio, as evidenced by VIA Technologies, who on Thursday unveiled its Vinyl Envy VT1730 USB 2.0 audio controller chip. According to VIA, it's the industry's first USB 2.0 audio controller.
"Over 10 years of experience in the audio component industry and extensive knowledge of peripheral interfaces has enabled this technology breakthrough," said Richard Brown, VP of Marketing, VIA. "Audio enrichment, through our successful VIA Vinyl Audio line of controllers and codecs, has long been a core element of VIA's multimedia product focus, and the VIA Envy VT1730 further extends our reach beyond the PC into high-end audio systems."
The Envy VT1730 produces 8-channel, 24-bit/192kHz audio, and according to VIA, is designed for cinema-quality sound recording and playback in high fidelity USB and MIDI systems, such as high-end headphones, USB soundcards, audio hubs, and recording consoles.
No word yet on when the new chip will show up on retail parts.
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.
The new VIA Nano 3000 series is based on the 64-bit superscalar "Isaiah' architecture and comes with a bevy of noteworthy features. Among them is the ability to support 1080p playback. Other notable traits include 64-bit support, SSE instructions, and encryption and security capabilities.
"With the VIA Nano 3000 Series, we are launching our fastest and most power-efficient processors yet," commented Richard Brown, VP International Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. "Coupled with our market-leading digital media chipsets, they enable the richest experience across a broad range of mobile and all-in-one system designs."
The new chips will ship in early 2010 at clockspeeds ranging from 1GHz to 2GHz and all run on an 800MHz frontside bus. The x86 parts are also compatible with both Windows and Linux.
In the small form factor graphics market, Nvidia’s Ion has been stealing the headlines lately, but it turns out VIA might be gearing up to give them a run for their money. Built on a new standard known as “Pico-ITXe”, the company has released their EPIA-P710, which claims to be capable of full 1080p video playback using nothing more than passive cooling. Of course we were skeptical at first, but they have finally backed up their claims by posting a short clip on YouTube showing the board in action.
Perhaps the most surprising aspect of this new part is how full featured it is given the size. It sports 3 USB 2.0 ports, has both SATA and IDE, as well as Gigabit Ethernet support. As you might expect, the current build is pared up with a VIA C7 1.0 GHz processor, but apparently this is still more than enough to handle anything the VX855 Media System Processor can’t handle video wise.
VIA on Thursday unveiled the eNote Turnkey Solution , an 11.6-inch ultra-thin notebook boasting both WiMAX and Wi-Fi connectivity. The company said it plans to demo the unit during 4G World in Chicago from September 15-18.
"The VIA eNote Turnkey Solution is one of the most advanced mobile notebooks in the world," said Georges Karam, Sequans CEO. "It incorporates all the features one would expect in a state-of-the-art ultra mobile product, plus all the connectivity options that users need to experience truly high speed connectivity anywhere they go."
In addition to WiMAX and Wi-Fi, the new eNote will come configured with a VIA Nano processor clocked at 1.3GHz on the VIA VX800 digital media IGP chipset, integrated VIA Chrome9 graphics, up to 2GB of DDR2 memory, video acceleration for MPEG-2, MPEG-4, WMV9, VC1, and DiVX, three USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port, 4-in-1 card reader, 2MB webcam, Windows XP, and a 4-cell battery for up to three hours of run time.
As the summer comes to a close, VIA hopes the coming months will be kinder to the company, particularly with the holiday shopping season just around the corner.
As for August, VIA posted revenues of $11.09 million, down 11.38 percent on month and almost a whopping 50 percent on year. Just as disappointing, VIA posted revenues of $97.53 million, a drop of a little more than 45 percent on year.
VIA blamed lower-than-expected growth in China's whitebox notebook and netbook markets for the lackluster revenues, but said it expects numbers to improve in September following orders placed by Lenovo and other suppliers set to join VIA's GMB alliance. The company also plans to launch its next-gen Nano 3000 series CPUs this fall.
Some manufacturers are trying their best to blur the line that separates netbooks from notebooks. According to a Commercial Times report, white-box netbook manufacturers in China have also turned their attention to producing netbooks with large displays. They are said to be manufacturing netbooks, with screen sizes in excess of 12 inches, based on AMD and VIA processors. According to the report, they are deliberately avoiding using Intel processors as the chip maker has placed restrictions on the screen size of Atom-toting netbooks. Besides, they are helped in making their choice by the fact that VIA processors are much cheaper than their Intel counterparts.
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.
Loud bellows can be heard at the ongoing Computex tradeshow in the Taiwanese capital. Nvidia is the one making all the noise with a bagful of Ion-based small form factor products. There are 21 Ion-based products being showcased at the event, including the Acer Desktop AspireRevo, Asus All-in-one eeeTop ET2002 and MSI All-in-one Windtop AE2201. Many of these products had not been heard of prior to Computex. The Ion platform has been at the receiving end of Intel’s contempt. But even Intel must be keenly observing the first wave of Ion-based products at Computex.