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Mini-ITX board supports HD video

Sep 18, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Ibase is shipping a Mini-ITX motherboard said to offer HD video playback. The MI941 is equipped with an LGA775 socket for Intel Core 2 and Intel Celeron CPUs, provides PCI and PCIe expansion, and offers gigabit Ethernet, USB, and serial connectivity, says Ibase.

Aimed at digital signage, point-of-sale, kiosk, and gaming applications, the MI941 appears to be almost identical to the MI940 Mini-ITX board that Ibase announced a year ago. The only difference appears to be that it swaps out the Intel 945GC Express chipset for the newer Intel G41 Express chipset, which includes the ICH7R I/O controller chip.


Ibase MI941

Equipped with the Intel GMAX4500 graphics engine, the G41 chipset enables the MI941 to support DDR3 memory — and up to 4GB of it instead of the MI940's 2GB limit for DDR2 RAM. The chipset (see diagram below) also supports front-side bus (FSB) speeds of 1066MHz or 1333MHz.

The X4500 graphics engine's hardware video decode acceleration and HD/SD video post processing enable the MI941 to offer "smooth high-definition video playback without the need for add-in video cards or decoders," says Ibase. The MI941 is also said to offer "optimized 3D graphics performance," as well as support for Microsoft DirectX 10 and OpenGL 2.0.


Intel G41 Express block diagram

(Click to enlarge)

The MI941 offers the same LGA775 socket as the MI940, supporting Intel Core2 and Intel Celeron processors, and it now also supports up to 1333MHz FSB. The board offers four SATA II ports, two serial ports, and six USB 2.0 connections, says Ibase. (Assuming the new board follows the MI940 design, two of those USB connections are offered as pin headers, instead of real-world ports.) Additional I/O includes digital I/O, as well as CRT and DVI-D edge connectors, says the company.

For expansion, PCI and PCI Express (PCIe) slots are available, and there are optional ID394 and ID395 daughter-boards for adding serial ports and TPM functionality respectively, says Ibase. Other details mentioned in the more complete MI940 specs, which likely pertain to the MI941 as well, include LPC I/O, hardware monitoring, and an operating temperature range of 32 to 140 degrees F (0 to 60 degrees C).

Specifications listed by Ibase for the MI941 include:

  • Processor — LGA775 socket for Intel Core2 Quad, Core2 Duo, and Intel Celeron CPUs, with up to up to 1333MHz FSB
  • Memory — Up to 4GB DDR3 memory via dual SODIMMs
  • Chipset — Intel G41 Express chipset with GMAX4500 graphics, and ICH7R I/O controller
  • Networking — 1 x PCIe gigabit Ethernet port (Intel 82583V)
  • Other I/O:
    • 4 x SATA II
    • 1 x IDE
    • 6 x USB 2.0
    • 2 x COM
    • 1 x CRT edge connector
    • 1 x DVI-D edge connector
    • Digital I/O
  • Audio — 5.1 channel high definition audio
  • Expansion:
    • 1 x PCIe slot
    • 1 x PCI slots (supports 2 x masters)
    • Optional ID394 daughterboard for additional serial ports
    • Optional ID395 daughterboard for TPM functionality
  • Other features — Watchdog timer
  • Dimensions — 6.7 x 6.7 inches; Mini-ITX format

Availability

The MI941 board has been "released," according to Ibase, which would suggest it is shipping now. However, there was no pricing information and for now, anyway, still no web page for the device. As with the MI940, operating system support was not detailed, but previous Ibase boards have offered drivers for Linux and various flavors of Windows.

The Ibase page for the very similar MI940 board may be found here.


This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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