VIA has presented an updated version of its seven-year old Mini-ITX platform. Just like the old Mini-ITX platform motherboards based on the new Mini-ITX 2.0 standard will measure 17cm x 17cm but they'll feature the new power-efficient Nano processors and a lot of other more modern technologies. There will be Blu-ray playback support and Mini-ITX 2.0 motherboards will now support PCI Express x16 so you can drop in a more powerful graphics card. VIA is working together with NVIDIA on the Mini-ITX 2.0 standard and the first motherboards and systems are expected in Q4 2008.
"With the Mini-ITX, VIA set the de facto standard for small form factor x86 platform integration, triggering industry-wide innovation in mini PC systems," said Timothy Chen, Special Assistant to the President, VIA Technologies, Inc. "Through the introduction of Mini-ITX 2.0, we are defining the mini PC platform of the future, paving the way for the emergence of a new generation of high performance systems that deliver an optimized experience in today’s increasingly media rich environment."
In line with the company’s long-term commitment to supporting open industry standards, VIA is working with leading industry partners including NVIDIA, the world leader in visual computing technologies and the inventor of the GPU, to drive innovation and maximize freedom of choice around the Mini-ITX 2.0 standard.
"VIA has pioneered small form factor PCs, in contrast to competing closed designs, Via’s new solution allows customers to play today’s latest PC games and experience new video and photo applications available with NVIDIA’s DX10 GPUs," stated Drew Henry, general manager, NVIDIA MCP business.
Mini-ITX 2.0 Standard
Mini-ITX 2.0 is an open industry standard that defines the minimum platform requirements for media-rich optimized mini PCs. Key features include the following:
Processor: High-performance, power efficient x86 processor, such as the VIA Nano processor
Memory: Support for minimum 2GB DDR2 SDRAM
Graphics: DirectX 9.0 integrated (IGP); DirectX 10 through an add-in card
Display: 1 VGA port for LCD display; 1 HDMI port on add-in card
HD Audio: 3 Audio jacks for up to 6-channel surround sound
Broadband Connectivity: 1 Gigabit LAN port
Storage: 2 Serial ATA II slots + 1 IDE (PATA) slot
Peripheral Connectivity: Minimum 4 USB2.0 ports
Expansion: 1 PCI Express 16-lane slot
Size: 17cm x 17cm
O/S Support: Microsoft Windows Vista; Microsoft Windows Vista Premium (through an add-in graphics card); Microsoft Windows XP, and major Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Suse Linux and gOS