Via launches Nano-ITX motherboard

Via Technologies Inc. Friday officially introduced the EPIA-N Nano-ITX motherboard. Measuring 12 centimeters by 12 centimeters, the Nano-ITX is the smallest PC motherboard form factor to hit the market.

The Nano-ITX motherboard is based on Via's CN400 chipset and works with Via's Eden-N processor running at speeds up to 1GHz, the company said in a statement. The Eden-N does not require a cooling fan and measures 1.5 centimeters by 1.5 centimeters, smaller than any other x86 processor, Via said at the Cebit trade show in Hanover, Germany.

The CN400 chipset, which was also launched Friday, offers an integrated graphics core, hardware acceleration for MPEG2 and MPEG4 video and supports up to 1G byte of DDR (Double Data Rate) DRAM (dynamic RAM), the company said. In addition to the Eden-N, the CN400 also supports Via's Eden, C3 and Antaur processors running at speeds up to 1.4GHz, it said.

The first PC based on the Nano-ITX motherboard is expected to start shipping within the next three months. Called Nanode, the PC measures 9.4 centimeters by 15 centimeters by 16 centimeters, making it one of the smallest fully-configured desktop computers ever produced.

U.K. firm Hoojum Design designed the device, which Mini-ITX.com (http://www.mini-itx.com/) will sell online. Nanode pricing has not been finalized, Mini-ITX.com said.

The Nanode will be available in two versions. The PC version will ship with a CD-ROM drive, a 20G-byte or 40G-byte hard drive and optional 802.11b wireless networking. The second version is a thin client without a CD-ROM drive and hard drive.

Pricing for the Nano-ITX motherboard and the Eden-N processor was not disclosed.

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