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VIA Intros "World's First" Quad-Core Mini-ITX Boards

By - Source: VIA Tech PR | B 17 comments

VIA has reintroduced two mini-ITX boards that now support its 1.2 GHz VIA QuadCore E-Series processor.

On Thursday Taiwanese motherboard and chipset manufacturer VIA Technologies claimed "world's first" by reintroducing the VIA EPIA-M900 and VIA EPIA-M910 boards as the company's first two Mini-ITX boards to feature it's 1.2 GHz VIA QuadCore E-Series processor. VIA says they're the most power efficient x86 quad-core solutions available on the market, targeted for "immersive" HD embedded environments.

The VIA EPIA-M900, which originally launched in July 2011, measures 17 x 17-cm and now comes packed with either the QuadCore E-Series processor, or the 1.6 GHz dual core VIA Nano X2 E-Series processor. Also on board is the VIA VX900 Media System Processor (MSP) which features the VIA ChromotionHD 2.0 video processor and supports up to 8 GB of DDR3 system memory. The rear panel I/O includes a Gigabit LAN port, HDMI port, VGA port, four USB 2.0 ports, one COM port and three audio jacks.

"An onboard PCIe x16 slot (with effective speed up to PCIe x8) and one PCI slot is accompanied with pin headers providing one dual channel 24-bit LVDS support (including backlight control), an additional three COM ports, a further four USB 2.0 ports and one USB device port, LPC support, 2 Digital I/O, SPDIF out and an SMBus header," VIA said on Thursday.

As for the VIA EPIA-M910, it launched just two weeks ago. It's a bit meatier than the previous M100 board, now supporting the 1.2 GHz VIA QuadCore E-Series processor in addition to the 1.6 GHz VIA Nano X2 dual core processor and the fanless 1.0 GHz VIA Eden X2 dual core processor, depending on your budget. The rear I/O panel is packed with dual Gigabit LAN ports, PS/2 support, one HDMI port, a VGA port, two RS-232 5v/12v selectable COM ports, four USB 2.0 ports and audio jacks.

"On board pin headers provide 2 x 24-bit LVDS support (including backlight control), two SATA ports, an additional six COM ports, a further four USB ports, Digital I/O, and a PCIe x4 slot. The VIA EPIA-M910 is available with support for either ATX or DC-in power supplies," VIA said.

VIA also stated that the QuadCore E-Series processor features a highly optimized, energy efficient multi-core architecture that delivers a thermal design power (TDP) of only 27.5W. It's also natively 64-bit compatible and comes with numerous performance features including Adaptive Overclocking.

"The VIA QuadCore E-Series processor delivers world class performance in the industry's leading power efficient package,"VIA said. "The high performance of the VIA QuadCore E-Series processor makes it the perfect platform for the creation of next generation digital signage displays and embedded projects."

Actual availability and pricing is unknown, so stay tuned.

Display 17 Comments.
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  • 0 Hide
    memadmax , February 24, 2012 12:08 PM
    NICE.
    Sign me up for fifty of them.
  • 6 Hide
    coreym72 , February 24, 2012 12:21 PM
    Keep designing boards smaller and smaller and I look forward to assembling my own tablet just like a PC. OS installed from a bootable flash card (WIM Image) or any OS even a hackintosh. Apple may have a head start but I’m not one to be glued to a company where all the apps are purchased from.
  • 2 Hide
    velocityg4 , February 24, 2012 12:35 PM
    They may be the worlds first embedded CPU mini-ITX board. But for a couple years now you've been able to plop a quad core Intel or AMD CPU into mini-ITX boards.

    What I want is a cheap ARM board with RAID 5 capabilities. That way I can build an inexpensive and low power using NAS. The Atom uses too much electricity and so does this. The prebuilt NAS with an ARM CPU use less energy but are way overpriced.

    I say they are overpriced since the prebuilt NAS with ARM cost less than the Atom models. Yet I can build an Atom NAS for less than a prebuilt ARM NAS. Therefore being able to build your own ARM NAS should be far cheaper than the prebuilt model. Plus have 2GB+ RAM as that seems to be a huge performance hit in the cheaper prebuilt NAS that only have 256MB or 512MB.
  • 8 Hide
    freggo , February 24, 2012 12:55 PM
    Why no USB 3.0 support on a brand new product ?
  • 4 Hide
    artk2219 , February 24, 2012 1:14 PM
    Honestly what I would like to see are some good VIA reviews since we see Brazos and Atom reviews fairly often but there isn't much information in regards to where VIA stacks up in all of this. Graphics wise I know their chips are absolutely terrible, but I remember when Brazos was released I saw something with the VIA x2 more than holding its own in a preliminary review, well holding its own on the CPU side at least.
  • 4 Hide
    COLGeek , February 24, 2012 1:17 PM
    Would make a decent low-power home server rig. Not really a great deal of mainstream use however due to the lack of processing horsepower. Still, when used for the correct purposes, these products could be very useful.
  • 8 Hide
    CaedenV , February 24, 2012 1:25 PM
    velocityg4The Atom uses too much electricity and so does this. The prebuilt NAS with an ARM CPU use less energy but are way overpriced.I say they are overpriced since the prebuilt NAS with ARM cost less than the Atom models.

    Atom processors take a Max of 10W, and substantially less when at idle. A low power HDD takes 3-5W idle and between 10-25W when in use (35-50W on spin-up). If your CPU takes less (approximate 1/2) the power of your HDD, and costs 67 cents per month if under a full load 24/7 (365d/y*24hr/d*10W/hr/1000W/kW=87.6W/yr /12mo=7.3kW/Mo*9.3cents/kW=67cents/mo) and you are worried about the cost of operation, then you have issues my friend. Obviously the costs will vary depending on location, but 9.3 cents is the national average, but we are still talking well under $1/mo to run your processor at full tilt for a whole month. Used 8 hours a day we are talking closer to 22 cents a month. Sure, if you are running a server farm of 1000 of these puppies, plus business rate for power which is much higher, then we are talking some serious cash... but as a home user you are being silly.


    As for the article; It's good to hear Via is still in the mix. They were the best low power company for a very long time, and I would love to see them come out with some ground-breaking stuff again!
  • -4 Hide
    gilbertfh , February 24, 2012 2:45 PM
    caedenvAtom processors take a Max of 10W, and substantially less when at idle. A low power HDD takes 3-5W idle and between 10-25W when in use (35-50W on spin-up). If your CPU takes less (approximate 1/2) the power of your HDD, and costs 67 cents per month if under a full load 24/7 (365d/y*24hr/d*10W/hr/1000W/kW=87.6W/yr /12mo=7.3kW/Mo*9.3cents/kW=67cents/mo) and you are worried about the cost of operation, then you have issues my friend. Obviously the costs will vary depending on location, but 9.3 cents is the national average, but we are still talking well under $1/mo to run your processor at full tilt for a whole month. Used 8 hours a day we are talking closer to 22 cents a month. Sure, if you are running a server farm of 1000 of these puppies, plus business rate for power which is much higher, then we are talking some serious cash... but as a home user you are being silly.As for the article; It's good to hear Via is still in the mix. They were the best low power company for a very long time, and I would love to see them come out with some ground-breaking stuff again!


    It all adds up right? /sarcasm
  • 0 Hide
    yumri4 , February 24, 2012 3:31 PM
    if VIA jumps back with a good CPU design with their unique processing design which allows you to go on in a instruction without having to wait for all the other cores to finish then yeah VIA will be a good low end system board choice again but i do not see them measuring up to Intel and/or AMD anytime soon but on the end of price they are cheaper to build with thus might be put into some of the thinner and cheaper mobile devices and/or embedded systems like a ATM and stuff like that where high performance isn't really an issue just reliability.
  • 2 Hide
    yumri4 , February 24, 2012 3:36 PM
    sorry for the double post but VIA boards are also easier but sometimes more expensive to do maintenance on since it is most of the time just a full replacement since everything is integrated into the chipset thus buying a new board and replacing it for maintenance on the computer. But with that VIA usually also consumes less power which is good for devices which never turn off or never turn off like the cash register at a grocery store or the board inside of one of those price check things on the wall in a store so you know how much the item is.
    In short i do not see VIA coming into the desktop market and actually being successful anytime soon due to lack of performance even for a Word processing / Web surfing computer.
  • -1 Hide
    K2N hater , February 24, 2012 9:05 PM
    We all know their platform barely draws any power but - excuse the pun - it's by no means powerful.
  • 4 Hide
    belardo , February 24, 2012 9:31 PM
    The low-power quad is meaningless if a low-powered dual core can run circles around it with the same wattage or so.

    A dual core 1.2Ghz typical cellphone CPU is not match for a true desktop CPU... but of course, those are hard to plug into a phone and the battery is kind of large. Hey, that would be a COOL project, find one of those OLD huge Motorola Portable phones, use a desktop CPU like the AMD X4 A-series chip, Windows7 and cellular software... :) 
  • 0 Hide
    yumri4 , February 25, 2012 3:51 AM
    VIA should take their platforms to almost if not totally integrated so the memory, cpu, and wifi are integrated then cut out the expansion ports to just make it smaller, cut the number of COM ports on it as that many is just excessive, and no PS/2 then just modify the BIOS chip to not recognize PS/2 and/or any hardware not integrated into it have a smaller amount of USB ports since it is most likely only going to be used for smaller lower to low end severs for network attached services which don't need that much processing to do also do a die modification so the cpu doesn't have any unneeded room taken up and use that to make it go faster on a smaller size thus having around 4GB of integrated RAM which can then be put onto both sides of the board so that will be new to have but restrict speeds by a bit due to heat and have a better and faster cpu because of the space taken up by the unneeded stuff is then gone.
    that is what VIA should do but most likely wont because they are dumb and really cannot see that most people don't upgrade their systems when using a VIA chipset also it is always to slow for any real good upgrades thus a 10/100/1000 Mbps network chip supporting 1 or 2 ports on it will be enough for a NAS which their boards seem good for. Now if they were to remove the PCI slot and add in more SATA ports i think they will have a better board then this but that is me as i use VIA boards for home NAS builds and hard drives are cheap but VIA boards cost as much as a 1~2TB hard drive does thus having more SATA slots and no PCI support will be good.
  • 0 Hide
    ojas , February 25, 2012 6:43 AM
    caedenvAtom processors take a Max of 10W, and substantially less when at idle.

    lol new Cedar Trail Atoms have a 3.5W TDP now...though apparently their video decoding drivers are a bit broken...
  • 0 Hide
    nforce4max , February 25, 2012 4:24 PM
    I see them selling well to companies that are struggling to maintain support for their aging production equipment still has a long useful life left. As for integration that need to go all in one soc and save on costs. On the other end they need to make a separate version that has much better clocks and then try to enter the normal desktop and mobile markets.
  • 2 Hide
    triny , February 26, 2012 2:36 AM
    Price is the great equalizer