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Thin PC piggybacks on LCD panels

Oct 8, 2007 — by Jonathan Angel — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 8 views


Via Technologies has announced a computer that attaches, piggyback-fashion to the VESA mounting holes on any VESA flat-panel display, turning it into a complete PC. Aimed at signage, kiosk, and other intelligent display applications, the vm7700 runs Linux, among other OSes.

(Click for a slightly larger view of the vm7700)


Via's vm7700 mounts to the back of an LCD with 4 screws

While it wouldn't be fair to call Via's vm7700 an “invisible” computer — it measures approximately 11.7 x 7 x 1 inches — the effect of the mounting method is that it adds little visual impact, and takes up no desk space. Via says any monitor with the standard 100 x 100 mm VESA mounting hole pattern can be used.

The device is based on a choice of Via x86-compatible processors — either a 1.0 GHz C7, or a 1.5 GHz Eden ULV. The company says both operate without requiring a fan, and with a maximum power requirement of only 12 watts.

The unit incorporates Via's CX700M2 integrated northbridge/southbridge. This provides it with Via's UniChrome Pro II IGP graphics core, with MPEG-2/-4 and WMV9 hardware acceleration, plus dual-view across both DVI and VGA sockets, according to the company.

According to Via, the vm7700 also has room for a 2.5-inch hard drive or flash-based disk-on-module (DOM). Networking is taken care of by built-in gigabit Ethernet port, plus an optional wireless LAN module.

Key features and specifications listed by Via for the vm7700 include:

  • Processor — Via C7 clocked at 1 GHz, or Via Eden ULV clocked at 1.5 GHz
  • Memory — 1 x DDR2 533 MHz SO-DIMM, supporting up to 1 GB
  • Graphics:

    • Via UniChrome Pro II AGP graphics with MPEG-2 / 4, WMV9 decoding acceleration
    • VGA output port
    • S-Video TV-out port (dual view)
    • DVI-D port

  • Networking:

    • gigabit Ethernet
    • Wireless LAN 802.11b/g (optional)

  • Storage — 1 x 2.5-inch HDD or DOM (disk on module)
  • Audio — AC '97 compatible, line-out, line-in, mic-in
  • Other I/O ports:
    • 4 x USB 2.0
    • 2 x PS/2
    • 1 x RS232 serial

  • Power — DC 12V input @ 12 watts maximum
  • Operating temperature — 0-45 deg. C
  • Dimensions — 11.7 x 7.1 x 1.0 inches (298 x 180 x 26 mm)
  • Weight — 4.4 pounds (2 kg)

Accessories listed by Via include the wireless module mentioned, an adapter plate for the smaller (75 x 75 mm) VESA mounting hole variant, and a remote control.

In addition to Linux, the device supports Windows XP/XPe/CE, with other OSes “undergoing validation,” Via said.

According to Via, the vm7700 is available now, though pricing was not provided. More information is available from the company's website, 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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