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Nano-ITX board touted as stable up to 158 degrees

Aug 6, 2009 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Via Technologies announced a nano-ITX board designed for extreme-temperature industrial and embedded applications. Operable from -4 to 158 deg. F, the Epia N700-10EW includes a 1.0GHz Eden ULV processor, gigabit Ethernet, two SATA ports, four USB ports, four COM ports, plus Compact Flash and Mini PCI expansion, says Via.

Via's new N700-10EW is a revamp of the Epia N700, which was touted as the "lowest-profile nano-ITX board ever" when it was released last September. The highly integrated device was also said to be the first nano-ITX board to use Via's VX800, a 33 x 33mm chip that integrates northbridge and southbridge functionality.

Via's Epia N700-10EW
(Click to enlarge)

The VX800 — visible at the center of the Epia N700-10EW photo above — supports gigabit Ethernet and includes Via's Chrome9 2D/3D graphics engine with DirectX 9 compatibility and hardware rotation capability. The companion chip gives the Epia N700-10EW hardware acceleration of MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VC1 and DiVX video formats. For more details on the VX800 and its smaller, mobile-oriented relative, the VX800U, see our earlier coverage, here.

A block diagram of Via's Epia N700
(Click to enlarge)

Where the Epia N700 was available with a choice of Via processors — either the 1.5GHz C7, or the 500MHz Eden ULV — the N700-10EW is apparently offered with just one, an Eden ULV clocked at 1.0GHz. The latter CPU has a maximum TDP of five Watts, which, combined with the VX800's five-Watt TDP max, lets the Epia N700 use as little as 10 Watts, according to Via. Maximum memory capacity of the board, meanwhile, remains 2GB of 533/667MHz DDR2 RAM.

Changes on the N700-10EW includes "special wide temperature-verified" memory modules, solid-state capacitors, and more rigorous testing prior to shipping, according to Via. As a result, it's said, the board can "maintain absolute stability" at temperatures ranging from -4 to 158 deg. F (-20 to 70 deg. C).

The Epia N700-10EW's "real-world" connectors

Like many devices of its type, the Epia N700-10EW offers a combination of real-world connectors on the edge of the board, plus other interfaces served up via pin headers. The photo above illustrates the board's edge-mounted VGA, serial, RJ45, and dual USB connectors, while also providing an indication of just how compact the 4.7 x 4.7-inch board is.

Other interfaces, provided via pin headers, include two additional USB ports, three more serial ports, keyboard/mouse and audio connectors, and an LVDS connector. The Epia N700-10EW also has two SATA ports, plus an IDE interface that's said to double as a CompactFlash connector.

On the back of the board, hence not shown in our photographs, is a Mini PCI slot. Wireless networking is an optional feature that can be added either via Mini PCI or USB, according to Via.

Features and specifications listed by Via for the Epia N700-10EW include:

  • Processor — 1.0GHz Eden ULV
  • Memory — up to 2GB of DDR2 memory via single SODIMM slot
  • Display — Integrated VIA Chrome9 HC3 DX9 3D/2D graphics with MPEG-2/4, WMV9 decoding acceleration
  • Networking — Gigabit Ethernet with RJ45 connector
  • Other I/O:
    • 4 x serial (1 x RS232/422/485 on board's edge; 3 x RS232 via pin headers)
    • 4 x USB (2 on board edge, 2 via headers)
    • 1 x VGA (on edge)
    • 1 x LVDS (via header)
    • 1 x IDE/Compact Flash connector
    • audio pin header
    • keyboard/mouse pin header
    • 1 x digital I/O pin header (4 x GPI and 4 x GPIO)
    • 1 x SMbus pin header
    • 2 x SATA
  • Expansion — Mini PCI slot
  • Operating temperature — -4 to 158 deg. F (-20 to 70 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 4.7 x 4.7 inches

Further information

According to Via, the Epia N700-10EW is compatible with Linux, Windows XP Embedded, Windows CE, and Windows XP. Pricing and availability information was not provided.

Background information on the standard Epia N700 may be found on Via's website, here.

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