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First “Em-ITX” board uses Nano CPU

Mar 27, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive

Via Technologies announced the first board based on its new 170 x 120mm Em-ITX format. Based on Via's 1.0 or 1.3GHz Nano processor and VX800 media system processor, the fanless Via EITX-3000 targets ultra-thin, embedded systems that require extended temperature support, says the company.

(Click here for a larger view of Via's EITX-3000

Announced earlier this month, Via's “open industry standard” EM-ITX format offers dual I/O “coastlines,” plus an “Em-IO” expansion bus that supports optional add-on modules. Measuring about 6.7 x 4.7 inches, the format offers the same width as Via's Mini-ITX, but with the height of Via's smaller (120x120mm) Nano-ITX format. The rectangular shape allows dual “coastlines,” providing 19 percent more room for real-world connectors than if a square had been utilized, according to the company. (For more information on EM-ITX, see our previous coverage, here.)


Em-ITX is 30 percent smaller than Mini-ITX, but has twice the coastline, Via says
(Click to enlarge)

The EITX-3000 board places the available 1GHz or 1.3GHz Nano (or 500MHz Via Eden) on the reverse side of the board, providing more room for passive cooling apparatus, says the company. The lack of a fan, along with the board's extended temperature range of 14 to 158 degrees F (-10 to 70 deg. C) makes the EITX-3000 especially suitable for “always-on” applications including high-end POS (point of sale/service), kiosks, ATMs, HMI (human machine interaction), factory automation, POI, and digital signage, says Via.

The Via processors are supported by a SODIMM socket that can handle up to 2GB of DDR2 RAM. The Via VX800 chipset is equipped with Via Chrome9 HC3 DX9 3D/2D graphics controller, which provides MPEG-2/4 and WMV9 decoding acceleration. The VGA connector supports up to 1920 x 1440 resolution, and the dual LVDS connectors, meanwhile, can drive 1280 x 1024-pixel displays, as well as dual independent displays, says the company.

Interfaces include dual gigabit Ethernet ports and six USB connections (two front-facing ports and four pin-header interfaces). Four on-board serial ports can be configured through BIOS selection, and other I/O includes SATA and CF interfaces, as well as options for upcoming Via-developed EM-IO expansion boards. The EITX-3000 is further equipped with an on-board DC-DC power converter with variable power input (DC 7V ~ 36V) that is said to support both AT and ATX modes. Although operating system (OS) support was not stated, Via's x86 products typically support Linux and Windows.

Specifications for the Via EITX-3000 are said to include:

  • Processor — 1GHz or 1.3GHz Via Nano ULV with FSB 800MHz and 1MB L2 cache; or 500MHz Via Eden ULV with FSB 400MHz and 12KB L2
  • Chipset — Via VX800 Unified Digital Media IGP with Via Chrome9 HC3 DX9 3D/2D graphics controller; supports up to 256MB frame buffer using system memory
  • Memory — up to 2GB DDR2 (533/667MHz) via 1 x 200-pin SDRAM SODIMM socket
  • Flash — 1 x CardBus/CF socket, type I/II
  • Expansion — 1 x 160-pin Em-IO bus expansion interface socket
  • Display — 1 x VGA connector for 1920 x 1440 resolution; 2 x 24-bit LVDS connectors for up to 1280 x 1024 resolution; dual independent display support
  • Audio — Via VT1708B high definition audio codec; supports Line-in, Line-out, and Mic-in with onboard 2×7-pin headers
  • Storage — 2 x SATA ports (3Gbps); 2.5-inch drives only
  • Networking — 2 x Via VT6130 gigabit Ethernet controllers
  • USB — 8 x USB interfaces (2 x front-facing mini-DIN ports and 4 x pin headers)
  • Serial — 4 x serial COM ports via DB-9 connectors
  • Parallel — 1 x PS/2 parallel port via 2×13-pin headers
  • GPIO — 2 x GPIO
  • Other features — temperature sensor, Watchdog timer, 2 x LEDs
  • Power — DC 7V ~ 36V; built-in DC-to-DC converter
  • Operating temperature — 14 to 158 deg. F (-10 to 70 deg. C)
  • Dimensions — 6.7 x 4.7 inches (17 x 12cm); EM-ITX format

Stated Daniel Wu, VP, Via Embedded, Via Technologies, “The VIA EITX-3000 adds the performance-per-watt advantages of the VIA Nano processor to create a truly compelling embedded board for high-end digital media systems.”

Availability

Samples of the EITX-3000 will be available to project customers in early May, says Via. The company will demonstrate the board at ESC Silicon Valley 2009, March 31-April 2, McEnery Convention Center, San Jose, Booth 15109. More information on Via's ESC plans may be found here. More on the Via EITX-3000 may be found here


 
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