VIA has announced the introduction of the mini-ITX 2.0 form factor here in Taipei and at the same time the company announced a partnership with Nvidia, which allows the pair to work together by delivering optimised PC platforms.
Richard Brown, head of marketing at VIA, said that the market is finally starting to “get” low-power platforms before stating that he took Intel’s attempts to lock down the mini-ITX form factor personally.
With the Atom family of processors, Intel has decided to drop PCI-Express and restrict motherboard manufacturers’ designs, he claimed.
Mini-ITX 2.0 is an open standard with a set of minimum specifications that are designed to “encourage the integration of the latest PC technologies into the small form factor market and to provide system integrators and end-users alike greater freedom of choice in configuring mini PCs and home media centres to deliver an optimised graphics, high definition video and computing experience,
” explained Brown.
One of the minimum specifications is the inclusion of a 16-lane PCI-Express slot, which allows the inclusion of a high-performance graphics card. VIA said that this alone has pleased a lot of its customers and one customer that is extremely happy with this is of course Nvidia.
Nvidia’s Drew Henry also spoke during the press conference and said that “Intel believes that you can’t split the Atom, while VIA has proved otherwise.
” Henry spent quite some time talking about optimised PCs, but didn’t really add anything to the message it has been pushing out for around six months now – the combination of a balanced CPU and GPU delivers a balanced and very visual computing experience.
VIA showed a mini-ITX based motherboard with a GeForce 8600 GT running Crysis
and also a couple of high-definition movies. The performance was pretty impressive when you consider that all of this power fits into a form factor that’s just 17cm x 17cm.
The press conference finished with VIA’s Timothy Chen, special assistant to the CEO, kissing Nvidia’s Drew Henry on the forehead. Drew claimed that this was completely unscripted, but I think it shows how glad the two are to be working together in the small form factor market.
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