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First nano-ITX mobo arrives

Mar 19, 2004 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

VIA has launched its first motherboard featuring the tiny new nano-ITX form factor unveiled last September. The 4.7- x 4.7-inch (12 x 12cm) Epia N-series Mainboard boasts a fanless, x86-compatible href=”/NS7542683131.html” target=”new”>Eden-N processor, with available clock rates in excess of 1GHz. The Epia N-series targets smart digital media and mobile entertainment devices.

(Click for larger view of VIA Epia N Mainboard)

The Epia N's CN400 video chipset features an integrated S3 graphics core with 2D and 3D acceleration, as well as hardware support for MPEG-4/2 digital video playback on CRTs, and LCDs, standard TV, and HDTV.

The graphics system “steals” main system memory, and the shared memory architecture supports up to 1GB of DDR400/333/266 memory. A FastStream64 memory controller with Ultra V-Link interface supports throughputs up to 1GB/s to the VIA VT8237 South Bridge.

The onboard VT8237 South Bridge supports storage, multimedia, and network interfaces that include Serial ATA (SATA), UltraDMA IDE, USB 2.0, onboard LAN, and V-RAID, with support for multiple RAID configurations.

The board includes support for VIA's Vinyl Six-TRAC 6-channel audio, through three audio jacks in the I/O panel. It also supports a growing number of LVDS embedded LCD panels, and has a Mini-PCI slot for expandability.

Two PadLock random number generators (RNGs) provide high-quality entropy driving what VIA claims to be market leading AES encryption rates. The board employs PowerSaver 3.0 power management technology to help extend battery life for mobile devices.

Backpanel I/O connectors include:

  • 1 RJ-45 LAN port
  • 1 Serial port
  • 2 USB 2.0 ports
  • 1 VGA port
  • 1 RCA port (SPDIF or TV out)
  • 1 S-Video port
  • 3 Audio jacks: line-out, line-in and mic-in (Horizontal, Smart 5.1 Support)

Onboard I/O connectors include:

  • 1 USB connector for 4 additional USB 2.0 ports
  • 1 LVDS/CAP connector
  • 1 CD audio-in connector
  • 1 FIR connector
  • 1 CIR connector (Switchable for KB/MS)
  • 1 Fan connector
  • Nano-ATX power connector
  • DOC reserved

Reference designs

VIA created five device reference designs to accompany the Epia N nano-ITX board to market. The designs include:

V-Silver digital media center — A low-power, quiet, and secure digital entertainment device for “tomorrow's living room.” Presented in partnership with Silver Stone.

V-Mapower portable digital center — A leather-covered device targeting mobile applications. Various colors and external designs. Presented in partnership with Mapower.

“World's thinnest digital media device” — This “digital media device” measures 3.5 centimeters high.

Personal portable media center — Intended for use as a gaming device, mp3 player, or VCD/DVD player.

“World's smallest 1G Fan-less Device” — No dimensions listed for this device, which features “leading heat-sink technology and case design.” Presented in partnership with Scythe and ADR.

Additional details and specifications can be found on online at VIA's Website.

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