VIA Celebrates 5th Birthday of EPIA Mini-ITX Mainboards!

VIA launches month of celebrations to mark the first EPIA mainboard, as global recognition of the potential of VIA

Taipei, Taiwan, 5 February 2007 – Five years ago today, VIA Technologies, Inc. launched the first EPIA mainboards through its VIA Platform Solutions Division (VPSD) based on the Mini-ITX form factor it had invented three months earlier – the smallest, most integrated standard PC platform in the world, with global channel availability announced in April 2002. This launch has proved the catalyst for a “Big Bang” of small form factor innovation among industry players and enthusiasts alike.

Today, the Mini-ITX has been widely adopted for an enormous variety of small footprint systems requiring low power consumption, from thin clients, kiosks, point-of-sales (POS) and network devices to newer x86 fields such as car PCs, digital signage and ID systems. With a broad infrastructure of motherboard and chassis makers and system builders evolved around it, the Mini-ITX has become a leading industry standard embedded mainboard.

VIA EPIA mainboards have lowered the barriers to entry for system developers, revivifying garage innovation as smaller companies use the complete, off-the-shelf platforms to rapidly bring their exciting new ideas to market. The Mini-ITX platform has also inspired many enthusiasts to create exotic and fun computers out of everyday objects, known as ‘case mods’ – the focus of one of the two competitions this month.

“VIA’s success has been in consistently anticipating market trends, and we realized back then that the PC industry was in desperate need of a breakthrough product to spur innovation on the x86 platform. The Mini-ITX mainboard proved to be that breakthrough,” said Richard Brown, VP of Corporate Marketing, VIA Technologies, Inc. “VIA’s continued innovation to the standards of integration and miniaturization seen today at both the silicon and platform levels is testament to our engineering excellence, our vision of where the market is heading and our commitment to driving new industry standards.”

VIA EPIA Mini-ITX 5th Birthday Celebrations

VIA and partners are announcing a month of celebrations during February, which kicks off today with two fun competitions, with prizes including the very latest VIA EPIA Mini-ITX mainboard, the EPIA EX15000G; these are followed by a series of informative articles posted on VIA Arena throughout the month.

  • Case Mod Competition – VIA Arena is hosting a gallery of remarkable case mods based on VIA EPIA Mini-ITX mainboards, and a poll for your favourites. Deadline for case mod submissions: Saturday 10th February, when voting opens. Voting closes Saturday 24th.
  • Birthday Photo Competition – EPIACENTER.com is hosting a crazy photo competition, where entrants need to submit amusing or crazy photos that involve a VIA EPIA Mini-ITX mainboard in some way! Deadline for picture submissions: Sunday 25th February.

Visit VIA Arena and EPIACENTER.com for more information on the competitions and other activities. Prize winners will be announced the week after the competitions close.

VIA

Today’s VIA EPIA mainboards have come a long way from first production, with processor speeds as much as three times that of the original platforms yet more power efficient than ever, richer digital media feature integration, and greater connectivity and storage options.

VIA pioneered the integration of MPEG-2 digital video processing directly into the chipset north bridge hardware, making VIA EPIA Mini-ITX mainboards complete platforms boasting smooth DVD playback without the need of additional daughtercards. Now, some chipsets integrate MPEG-4 and WMV9 video decoding acceleration as well as support for advanced memory up to DDR2 and the latest SATA storage technologies. The VIA C7 processor family has raised the performance bar, featuring a host of new processing, power management and security technologies that have boosted the applicability of VIA EPIA mainboards.

At the same time, VIA has an aggressive roadmap to continue shrinking the platform itself, with the development of the Nano-ITX and the upcoming Pico-ITX form factors.

“We are delighted to celebrate the fifth birthday of our EPIA Mini-ITX mainboard, which has revolutionized small form factor innovation and become a major player in the embedded market,” said Daniel Wu, Assistant Vice President, VIA Platform Solutions Division, VIA Technologies, Inc. “This birthday is a timely reminder of our progress in reducing the form factor, coming so close to the launch of the upcoming Pico-ITX form factor, which we hope will raise the excitement level and boost innovation as the Mini-ITX has done.”

More information about the Mini-ITX form factor innovation on the VIA website at:
http://www.via.com.tw/en/initiatives/spearhead/mini-itx/, and details of all today’s VIA EPIA mainboards can be found at: http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/mainboards/.

About VIA Technologies, Inc.

VIA Technologies, Inc. (TSE 2388) is the foremost fabless supplier of market-leading core logic chipsets, low power x86 processors, advanced connectivity, multimedia, networking and storage silicon, and complete platform solutions that are driving system innovation in the PC and embedded markets. Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, VIA’s global network links the high tech centers of the US, Europe and Asia, and its customer base includes the world’s top OEMs, motherboard vendors and system integrators. www.via.com.tw

VIA Technologies, Inc.