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Via unveils first pico-ITX design

Apr 19, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 11 views

Chip-maker Via Technologies has revealed details about its “pico-ITX” hardware reference design, and promised to announce its first commercially available mainboard based on the new form-factor “soon.” Slightly smaller than the venerable PC/104 standard, pico-ITX represents “the smallest complete x86 mainboard in the… industry,” Via said.

(Click for larger view of VT6047 and the King of Hearts)

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Via's first pico-ITX reference design is dubbed the “VT6047.” The design appear to be available now to board vendors and device hardware designers interested in basing products on the pico-ITX form-factor. The design is “optimized for mainstream Internet applications” priced from $300 to $500, including productivity, education, storage, and entertainment devices, Via said.


Via VT6047 reference design
(Click above to enlarge)


Via reference design case


Pico-ITX mechanical drawing
(Click to enlarge)

Measuring 3.9 x 2.8 inches (10cm x 7.2cm), pico-ITX boards have half the surface area of nano-ITX boards, and a quarter that of boards based on the now 5-year-old mini-ITX standard. The miniaturization is enabled in part by an 82 percent real estate reduction of Via's chipsets, which have shrunk from 50 x 50mm in mini-ITX's original “Socket 370” processors to just 21 x 21mm for the “nanoBGA” package used in Via's current C7 product family.


Via's incredible shrinking motherboard
(Click above to enlarge)

Max. Width (mm) Max. Depth (mm) Max. Area (mm2) % Larger than Pico-ITX
Pico-ITX
100
72
7,200
PC/104
95.9
90.2
8,650
20%
ETX
95
114
10,830
50%
Nano-ITX
120
120
14,400
100%
Mini-ITX
170
170
28,900
301%
FlexATX
229
191
43,739
507%
PicoBTX
266.7
203.2
54,193
652%
MiniATX
284
208
59,072
720%
MicroATX
244
244
59,536
727%
NanoBTX
266.7
223.5
59,607
728%
MicroBTX
266.7
264.2
70,441
878%
BTX
266.7
325.1
86,704
1104%

(Source: Via Technologies pico-ITX form-factor whitepaper)


VT6047 reference design

Via's VT6047 reference design supports either C7 processors, or Via's passively cooled Eden processors, which are identical but for lower clock speeds and additional testing and verification of Eden parts for higher operating temperatures. The design also uses Via's “all-in-one” VX700 chipset, a VT1212 “Super-I/O Lite” chip, VT6106S 10/100 Ethernet controller, and VT1708A 8-channel HD audio controller, a nifty-looking part said to have stereo DACs with 100dB S/N ratios, and to support 24-bit, 192kHz audio, together with “excellent power management for mobile devices.”


VT6047 design, top and bottom
(Click to enlarge)

As might be expected, Via is enthusiastic about the arrival of its newest mainboard offspring. Richard Brown, VP of corporate marketing, for example, stated, “As with the Mini-ITX and Nano-ITX form-factors before it, this new platform has raised the excitement level among enthusiasts and customers alike, firing the imagination an almost unlimited range of what were previously impossibly small systems.”

More details about the pico-ITX form-factor and the VIA VT6047 pico-ITX mainboard reference design may be found in the “VIA Pico-ITX Form Factor” white paper, available here (reproduced by LinuxDevices.com with Via's permission).


 
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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