Print 16 comment(s) - last by ubcz.. on Jun 5 at 8:54 AM

Ultra low power and embedded systems friendly

VIA has been on a roll as of late with the launch of new EPIA mini ITX motherboards. The latest addition to the EPIA family is the ultra low power VIA EPIA CN. Two EPIA CNs will be available—a 1.3 GHz CN13000 and a 1.0 GHz CN1000E. Average power consumption is around 16 watts which make the new EPIA CNs perfect for the embedded PC market.

Other notable features include the VIA CN700 northbridge which features VIA UniChrome Pro AGP graphics. The UniChrome graphics support hardware MPEG-2 acceleration via the Chromation CE engine and dual display support via DuoView+. Strangely enough, VIA claims SATA II support with the EPIA CN, though it seems impossible as the VIA VT8237R lacks SATA II support.

Additionally the EPIA CN features a single PCI slot, S-Video, composite video, S/PDIF audio outputs, serial, parallel, 10/100 Mbps Ethernet, and USB 2.0 ports. There’s also support for two parallel IDE and two SATA connectors with support for RAID 0 and 1. Memory support is limited to 1GB max as the board only has a single 240-pin DIMM slot to accommodate DDR2 400/533 MHz memory. VIA’s PadLock Security Engine is also integrated for hardware accelerated encryption processing.

Pricing is expected to be $193 while availability is expected in June.

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By peternelson on 6/1/2006 4:09:31 PM , Rating: 2

So-called launch: June?

I remember the C7 coming for ages, the launched, then where on earth is it?

All I can find for the last year is C3.

They don't even make it clear on the product/box/motherboard, WHICH PROCESSOR is actually on the board! ie processor model, stepping and clockspeed.

I WANTED two of the C7 because of hardware random noise generation and crypto.

Unfortunately for VIA, I'm STILL waiting. GRRRRR.

There's no point launching ANY products unless they can shake up their distribution and actually get some product to customers like within TWO YEARS of an announcement.

RE: Availability?
By peternelson on 6/1/2006 4:14:17 PM , Rating: 2

VIA, my mini-ITX case and psu is here and waiting.

WHERE (in the UK) are your C7 boards ? ? ?

RE: Availability?
By BladeVenom on 6/1/2006 8:26:18 PM , Rating: 2
Also, wasn't Nano ITX announced in 2003, and is it even out yet?

RE: Availability?
By Pandamonium on 6/2/2006 4:20:09 AM , Rating: 2
VIA has dropped the ball in the EPIA's development and release. The Epia N was supposed to be released December 2003 (I followed that closely because I was very interested in using one in a project). After several delays, the Epia N was released in 1H 2006.

As for performance, VIAs offerings are, IMO, too low power to be worthwhile for *general* HTPC usage. I forget where it was documented, but even a P3-800MHz CPU holds a significant performance lead on even the highest rated C7 processors. I believe it's because VIA's CPUs only have a single half-speed FPU or something, but don't quote me on that.

RE: Availability?
By eighteye on 6/2/2006 4:25:07 AM , Rating: 2
VIA stuff is all over asia, C3s, C7s, EPIA..etc
dunno why they don't get to europe. I think they're available in the states, that's where Taiwan's main market is. I can get a C7 motherbaord over here for US$70, they are all over the place, but they're not selling. nobody buys them cos they're ignorant of the power appreciation here, they only go for the expensive fast cpus. stupid shits.

*disgruntled user alert!*
By Micah on 6/1/2006 1:47:56 PM , Rating: 3
I had a VIA Epia (MII-10k) for a MythTV frontend, and I hated the damn thing. The fan was too loud, and the on-board MPEG-2 decoder didn't support XvMC, or at least it had some sort of proprietary XvMC.

I eventually gave up and moved to a mATX AMD setup and it was the best decision I've made regarding MythTV.

I love the idea of these mini-ITX SFF machines, but I'm still unhappy with the implementation.

BTW: when are they going to start offering them with onboard 802.11b/g? That would free up the PCI slot for something more useful.

RE: *disgruntled user alert!*
By abakshi on 6/1/2006 3:07:34 PM , Rating: 2
> BTW: when are they going to start offering them with
> onboard 802.11b/g? That would free up the PCI slot for
> something more useful.

The Via Nano-ITX boards (in addition to some 3rd-party Mini-ITX ones) have a Mini-PCI slot, which can be used for that purpose.

RE: *disgruntled user alert!*
By Pandamonium on 6/2/2006 4:14:15 AM , Rating: 2
The Epia N boards ONLY have a miniPCI slot. The point of having integrated 802.11g is so that the single expansion slot could be freed up from wireless duties.

RE: *disgruntled user alert!*
By ubcz on 6/5/2006 8:54:07 AM , Rating: 2
I added 802.11 g to my VIA EPIA M 10000 using a USB adapter. I used the PCI port for an ATI graphics card since the internal one is too weak.

ULV Core Duo
By DigitalFreak on 6/1/2006 2:19:38 PM , Rating: 2
Intel is releasing an ULV 1.2GHz Core Duo CPU that consumes only 9w. Considering how crappy VIA CPUs have been when it comes to performance, it should wipe the floor with the VIA chip.

RE: ULV Core Duo
By dcollins on 6/1/2006 3:16:52 PM , Rating: 2
But your comparing CPU power consumption (9W) to a platform power consumption (16W). I would bet that the smallest Intel platform would offer still draw more power than this system, though no one can argue that the former would have superior system performance.

RE: ULV Core Duo
By xdrol on 6/1/2006 3:24:14 PM , Rating: 2
9W is the CPU only, this 16W here is the full board with CPU.

RE: ULV Core Duo
By bpurkapi on 6/1/2006 5:45:01 PM , Rating: 2
Low power consumption is where its at for htpc's if intel can pull off a viiv or whatever its called with this chip at its heart it would be awesome, as well as the energy efficient x2 from amd. More performance is great put it usually means too much power, ideally I would have a computer that could be on at all times and not draw much power, that will be the day when my biggest need is met.

Keep em coming
By segagenesis on 6/1/2006 1:34:24 PM , Rating: 2
I find news like this more interesting than the latest yet energy hungry top of the line processors and systems from Intel/AMD. 16W is barely more energy consumed than my router and about 15x faster at 1ghz.

The only setback I still see with these machines is the power supply. If it were not for the picoPSU it would be tough to get a small AC power supply decent enough for these things. Unless I'm not looking in the right place...

EPIA is crap...
By Brane2 on 6/2/2006 1:56:08 AM , Rating: 2
Underpovered, overpriced, not so low power as the latest Intel and AMD offering. EPIA is small just performancewise, looking at the price tells the different story.

And VIA's commitment to high quality drivers for Linux is legendary.
Even now support for CLE-266/400/800 graphics accelereation is limited and getting any datasheet stuff for anything on EPIA is peppered with signing NDA agreements etc.

What is so good in VIA C3 ( or C7 for that matter) that newest (Dual Core at 1.2 Ghz) Yonah with TDP of only 9W lacks ?

By RyanM on 6/2/2006 3:06:17 AM , Rating: 2
I understand that smaller caries a price premium, but how can this motherboard CPU combo cost so much more than an Athlon/mobo combo I can get on Newegg for $100?

Okay, it's smaller. It uses less power. But the thing isn't going to to come close to the Athlon in any benchmark out there.

I'd be willing to pay AS MUCH as a similar large-format combo as I would for a small-format, much slower one. But I will NEVER stoop to paying almost TWICE as much to get something which is up to a third as fast in damn near everything.

If they ever price one of these at $100, I'll be the first in line to buy it for a micro-fileserver. But until then, I'll use a 4 year old Athlon and mATX mobo, which may end up using a bit more power and taking up more space, but didn't cost me a dime because they were salvaged parts.

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