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Mini-ITX mobo boasts PCI Express x16 slot

Sep 27, 2005 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

Taiwanese board vendor Arbor Technology claims it is first to ship a mini-ITX motherboard graced with a PCI Express x16 slot. The ITX-i7435 supports several Socket 478 Pentium M/Celeron M processors, and targets multimedia, gaming, and other applications requiring high-quality graphics performance.

PCI Express was developed largely to stop gigabit Ethernet from completely saturating the I/O capabilities of PCs increasingly limited by decade-old PCI bus technology. PCI Express slots are slightly smaller than normal PCI slots, as can be seen in the photo below.

The PCI Express port is the little black one on the bottom edge, barely larger than the mini-PCI port above it

One of the first applications for PCI Express is graphics adapters. PCI Express x16 offers 40 Gbps connection speeds — about twice the speed of 8x AGP (advanced graphics port). ATI and NVidia are among the first graphics card vendors to ship PCI Express cards, timing their product launches to correspond with Intel's launch events for chipsets such as the 925x/915 Express and E7525 chipsets that support PCI Express.

The ITX-i7435 is based on Intel's 915GM northbridge and ICH6M southbridge. It supports Socket 478 Pentium M “Dothan” chips clocked to 2.2GHz, Low Voltage Pentium M chips clocked to 1.4GHz, and Ultra Low Celeron M chips clocked at 1GHz. Both the chipset and the processors are warranted for long production life under Intel's Embedded Intel Architecture program, Arbor says.

The ITX-i7435 has eight USB 2.0 ports, including four on the back panel

In addition to “the latest” x16 PCI-Express expansion bus, Arbor says its ITX-i7435 features a 533MHz front-side bus, dual DDR II SDRAM slots, two SATA channels, eight USB 2.0 ports, RS-232 console redirection, a mini-PCI slot, a CompactFlash Type I/II slot, and two 10/100 Ethernet ports. The board offers a lot of video display device flexibility, with an on-board 18-36-bit dual-channel LVDS port for flat panel displays, as well as DVI and CRT ports. The board supports 12VDC or ATX power input.


Arbor did not provide either pricing or an estimated timeframe for availability.

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