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Nano board targets home media servers

May 1, 2009 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Via Technologies has announced a Mini-ITX motherboard intended to find a place in home media servers. The VB8002 runs Linux on a 1.6GHz Nano processor, and offers DVI and S-Video connectors, S/PDIF output, and RCA jacks for connection to external A/V equipment, the company says.

(Click here for a slightly larger view of Via's VB8002)

Via says its new VB8002 will be appropriate for a variety of media server, media streaming, and digital set-top designs. The device includes Via's 64-bit, 1.6GHz Nano L2200 processor, the chipmaker's CX700M2 integrated northbridge/southbridge, and a SODIMM socket that accepts up to 1GB of DDR2 memory, the company adds.

Via makes no explicit claim that the VB8002 can play back HD video at full 1080p resolution, but the company does note that the board includes a VT1625M encoder chip, capable of scaling output for 720p or 1080i devices. Meantime, the CX700M2 chipset is touted for its integrated UniChrome Pro II 3D/2D graphics, with MPEG-2/4 and WMV9 decoding acceleration.

In any case, the VB8002 is distinguished by its home-theater-style connectors, which include both digital and optical S/PDIF connectors, with support for 7:1 surround sound. Analog audio output, meanwhile, is channeled to RCA jacks, replacing the chintzy 3.5mm jacks typically found on computers. RCA jacks also offer up both composite and component video outputs, though Via has apparently missed the opportunity to include an HDMI port.

Other back-panel I/O includes a DVI connector for computer displays, a mini-DIN connector for S-Video output, and an RJ45 connector for gigabit Ethernet. Meanwhile, headers on top of the board provide four USB ports, audio mic in and line in/out, LPC, LVDS, a SCART (Syndicat des Constructeurs d'Appareils Radiorecepteurs et Televiseurs) output for European TVs, and PS/2 keyboard/mouse connectivity. The board also includes a PCI expansion slot and two SATA connectors, Via says.

Features and specifications listed by Via for the VB8002 include:

  • Processor — Via Nano L2200 clocked at 1.6GHz
  • Memory — Up to 1GB of DDR2 RAM via single SODIMM slot
  • Storage — Includes two SATA connectors
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet port
  • Other I/O:
    • Rear panel:
      • 1 x DVI
      • 1 x S-Video
      • 6 x RCA jacks (for stereo audio, composite video, component video)
      • 1 x coaxial S/PDIF connector
      • 1 x optical S/PDIF connector

    • Onboard via headers:
      • 4 x USB 2.0
      • Audio mic in, line in, line out
      • LPC
      • LVDS
      • TV out for SCART
      • SmBus
      • PS/2 mouse/keyboard
      • 2 x SATA

  • Expansion — 1 x PCI
  • Operating temperature — 32 to 122 deg. F (0 to 50 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 6.7 x 6.7 inches (17cm x 17cm)
  • Operating system — Linux, Windows XP, Windows XP Embedded, Windows CE

Daniel Wu, VP of Via's embedded platform division, said, “The Via Nano processor is ideally suited to server applications that require superb performance in tandem with great power efficiency. We are convinced that the Via VB8002 board will be applauded by system integrators as the most well balanced, feature-rich media server platform available.”


Via did not announce pricing or availability for the VB8002. More information on the board may be found on the company's website, here.

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