Via introduces ultra-small Mobile-ITX platform

By Justin Mann on December 2, 2009, 5:30 PM
Via's portfolio of small hardware grew this week, with the announcement of its Mobile-ITX form factor. Measuring a mere 6cm square, Mobile-ITX's footprint is half the size of Pico-ITX. Based on existing x86 designs, it is a modular form factor aimed at ultra-compact and low-power uses.

The tiny frame doesn't mean Via skimped on functionality. The reference design can be expanded to include a wide range of inputs and outputs, from USB and PCIe to CRT and DVI. The small and modular design results in power consumption as low as 5 watts, supplied from a slimline power supply. Via has kept the design rugged, making it suitable for cramped and hostile environments.

The platform chipset is based on Via's VX820 media processor, which integrates many common components into a single chip. A C7-M ULV CPU and Chrome9 HC3 GPU are couple with that.

User Comments: 34

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klepto12 klepto12, TechSpot Paladin, said:

this seems like a great product i cant believe how small it is and how man different things can be added. i do like that it is rugged which helps especially if you have kids or are accident prone like me lol.

Technochicken Technochicken, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Wow that's tiny! Any word on pricing? Since VIA's current Pico-ITX board currently runs for a bit over 200 dollars, my guess is this board will not come cheap.

Serag said:

Amazing how tiny sized the platform is..

freedomthinker said:

I will be honest , i don't even know whats this thing for ;D

AnonymousSurfer AnonymousSurfer said:

As long as a phone has a keyboard, I'm all good...

Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Awesome little piece of tech, now if they could show a product using it that would be even better.

Moltar said:

To commnet on Adhmuz, All this cool stuff gets posted but I never know what it is used for or what type of products use it. Some real world examples would be nice.

Xclusiveitalian Xclusiveitalian said:

I can't wait till it's smaller bc it said ultra small but it doesn't look that small

Tekkaraiden Tekkaraiden said:

Yet another impressive piece form Via. Now if only I was able to buy one I'd be really happy.

WakeMO said:

Wow. I hope they make a tablet with this.

BlindObject said:

Looks nice and small, how does it run Crysis?

AtK SpAdE AtK SpAdE, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

BlindObject said:

Looks nice and small, how does it run Crysis?


And I thought the Atom/Micro ITX was small!

bitMorph3r said:

a tablet pc is the perfect thing this board can end up into. great competitor for tegra, albeit i don't know if it's 1080p compatible.

Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

With the C7 at 1.6GHz, this will run worse than the Atom in most respects. VIA will probably claim it can handle 1080p, but not if you're watching DivX, xvid etc.. The Chrome GPU supports hardware video decoding, but in terms of performance, is on par with Intel's last-generation video chipsets. Needless to say, gaming is nearly an impossibility.

But at least the C7-M is 64-bit, unlike the Atom which means there is the potential to stuff this with tons of memory. I'm afraid the form factor will make that a little difficult though, but I do see this as cool for a 'carputer', file server and other special-purpose uses.

Using it as a regular computer sounds painful, though. I want my tablet to be responsive to my touches. I'm not sure this thing can deliver that except for email and Facebook.

lfg18 said:

Well the size of this thing is certainly impressive, netbooks will become smaller haha, I don't think I would use a product based on this thing, I don't think it can handle my everyday needs and tasks, probably will be ok for students or people just wnating to check their facebook account, impressive but not for me.

Puiu Puiu said:

With this we'll have smaller and more powerful mobile devices. Soon we'll be holding the power of a modern PC in the palm of our hands. Doesn't the future look good?

TechDisciple said:

wow tiny but yet powerful, wat else can we ask for.

Razerblade said:

That is quite incredible! I cannot believe they have managed to back that much punch into something so small! Soon a Server will be the size of a Laptop hard drive! Imagine the space saving and cost saving from lower power consumption!

manintech said:

This would be a perfect platform for netbooks, they are just gonna be lighter and lasts longer

ET3D, TechSpot Paladin, said:

What, even VIA doesn't want to use its Nano processor?

compdata compdata, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Faster, Smaller, Cheaper. Keep up the trend!!

fref said:

That is one tiny computer! Not sure if it's powerful enough, but if it can play videos, it would be great in the living room connected to a TV.

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I could see something like this being incorporated into a nice big HD television, creating a sweet smart TV with limited PC capabilities... There are actually any number of interesting application (many of them dealing with industrial embedded systems) that a product like this could enhance, or even make possible.

I've actually got an older VIA single-board system attached to the back of my second monitor on my gaming system at home... I put together a nice little cheap unit that runs Linux and does nothing but host my Ventrilo communications server... A little overkill, but hey I was bored, had some extra parts lying around, and an idea popped into my head... Some of you know how it is!

BlackIrish said:

Too bad AMD's Congo platform is now about and it probably destroys this thing (it also has a Radeon 3200 HD, and it's made for netbooks!)

njmarkham said:

Hand: A womens or a mans? Just an observation, chucky wrist but women like finger nails?

jgvmx said:

Now this is small for an x86 platform! I tought VIA would include a die shrink of the Nano instead of the ol' C7. If the price is competitive, it can find its way into stuff like tablets, ebook readers, home theaters or networking devices.

ColdPreacher said:

Nice little micro board. Could be used to make any electronic smart.

Richy2k9 said:

hello ...

seems like i may build another small media server that will cost less in terms of power consumption ...

need more info ... leeching the newt & be right back.


buttus said:

Smaller and smaller yet. It's amazing how small this footprint is and how this can affect everyday electronics. It makes those bulky HTC puters in living rooms seem absolutely gigantic.

AbsolutGaloot said:

I would love to use something like this to make a wearable computer. It would all be able to fit in a nice small package, and have the power to do whatever I want. Combine it with some of those spiffy LCD-Glasses thingys and whatever passes for a powerglove nowdays, and I'm set.

vangrat said:

I see military applications, as well as remote terminal applications not to mention medical and possibly education application for something like this. Really this has been something of a demand although people don't really seem to realise it until it is sitting there in front of them, then it's "OMG this is what I have been looking for!"

Nirkon said:

The picture shows one of the most cramped in piece of hardware i have ever seen, really... Actually I think that VIA is on its way to become as big as intel, they'll have even smaller designs, combined with smaller CPUs that offer a big punch in comparison to other hand held cpus.

Hyperian said:

competing against ARM now are we? it's going to be interesting as processor gets smaller and embedded system get more powerful. their uses will eventually overlap and there's gonna be some competition.

levar said:

Good news for netbooks and notebooks.

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