" ITREALMS: EPIA mainboard from VIA Tech

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

EPIA mainboard from VIA Tech

Remmy Nweke

Taiwan-based innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and Personal Computer (PC) platform solutions, has introduced a new mainboard product, tagged VIA EPIA in its EK-Series.

The company said that the latest mainboard was designed for a new generation of network based ultra compact digital media appliances to further boast a maximum power consumption of just 19 Watts (Wts).

Head, VIA Embedded Platform Division, VIA Technologies Incorporated, Mr. Daniel Wu, while explaining the new product, said that as the first VIA EPIA Mini-ITX to be based on the VIA Luke CoreFusion processor platform, the VIA EPIA EK series is available in a 1 Gega Hertz (GHz) or 800 Mega Hertz (MHz) fanless option and offers dual Local Area Network (LAN).

This, he said, comes with the option of a Gigabit Ethernet port, as well as hardware based security in addition to the VIA PadLock Security Engine, which was built to help protect network communication and locally stored information, making the mainboard ideal for use in firewalls, servers and other secure networked devices.

He equally said that the product would be available globally later this month, integrates hardware for Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG-2/4) decoding acceleration and the VIA Vinyl VT1618 multi-channel audio codec, to enable smooth digital media playback.

According to him, it offers unparalleled connectivity with a Digital Video Interactive (DVI), an earlier compression technique that provided up to 72 minutes of full-screen video on a CD-ROM or the Low Voltage Differential Signalling (LVDS), which is a transmission method for sending digital information.

LVDS also enables sending of data over data high and data low lines rather than data and ground. The receiver detects the voltage difference between the two signals instead of relative to ground.

Mr. Wu further said that the DVI/LVDS module connection, Digital I/O (4 GPI/GPO), and has up to four COM and Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports.

Therefore, the new product could be optimized for use in Point of Sale (POS), kiosks, and other networked digital media applications with greater multimedia and security requirements, just as the VIA EPIA EK also serves as an upgrade path from the popular VIA EPIA PD-Series Mini-ITX mainboards.

“Leveraging the power efficiency and rich integration of the VIA Luke CoreFusion processor platform, the VIA EPIA EK offers a true low power, feature packed Mini-ITX solution,” he said.

He stressed that explosive growth is expected in demand for secure, bandwidth-efficient networked devices, especially in multimedia applications that have greater computational requirements.

“VIA EPIA range gives developers the solution they need on a single x86 platform,” he declared.

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