In a move that completely surprised no one, VIA has announced yet another super small, energy efficient computer platform. This time though, the new motherboard may actually have some impact outside the specialist and homebuilt sectors.
As small as a credit card, the new platform is designed for the ultra mobile sector and incorporates CPU, RAM and the chipset onto the PCB. The CPU is a 1GHz C7M that was seen to run Windows XP without any problem and use a maximum of 3.5W in the process, while on idle it uses as little as 0.25W. It will be available with either 256MB or 512MB RAM and because the RAM is soldered to the board, you better be sure how much you need.
It wasn’t just a concept board that was on show though, VIA was also showcasing a new NanoBook that uses the Mobile-ITX platform. Incorporating a 7in screen, full size keyboard, mini trackpad, speakers, Bluetooth, Wi-FI, Ethernet, multi-card reader and USB, the iDot iNano UD718 is a complete mini notebook that will do all the tasks you would expect of a PC on the move.
Performance will of course be hampered by the single core, ultra-low voltage CPU but for such a petite device, this is one compromise most of us would be willing to make. The notebooks will cost around $699 but expect a fairly large variation in cost as multiple vendors will be producing them.
We'll have to wait and see if the platform, small as it is, will make its presense felt in the marketplace.