Electronic Design
Dual Core Mini-ITX Board Targets Media Applications

Dual Core Mini-ITX Board Targets Media Applications

VIA Technologies is well known for its processors and Mini-ITX and PICO-ITX motherboards. The VIA EPIA-M900 Mini-ITX (Fig. 1) motherboard holds a 1.6GHz VIA Nano X2 E-Series dual core processor. It is supported with a VIA VX900 media system processor allowing it to target a range of media applications such as digital signage and kiosks. This includes hardware acceleration support for VC1, H.264 and WMV9 HD video and it can handle 1080p video. It even handles HD DVD and Blu-ray audio content protection.

The board holds up to 8GB of DDR3 memory using a pair of sockets. There are HDMI and VGA ports plus dual channel 24-bit LVDS ports. Interfaces include Gigabit Ethernet, four USB 2.0 ports, one COM port and three audio jacks. A second Gigabit Ethernet port can be added as well as a USB-based 802.11b/g/n WiFi adapter module.

The motherboard deviates from the usual single socket configuration with two sockets. There is one PCI Express x16 slot that runs as a x8 slot. There is also a PCI slot.

Headers provide access to additional ports. This includes three COM ports, four USB 2.0 ports, one USB device port, LPC support, 2 Digital I/O, SPDIF out and SMBus. The board supports two SATA drives.

Drivers are provided for Windows, including Windows 7, and Linux.

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