VIA makes its first ARMbased PicoITX board, adds dual graphics for your incar pleasure

VIA has only ever really had a dalliance with ARM; the VAB-800 might be a sign that it's willing to go steady for awhile. As the company's first Pico-ITX board with an ARM chip, the 800 stuffs up to a 1GHz, Freescale-made ARM Cortex-A8 and 1GB of RAM into a tiny, 3.9 x 2.8-inch board. Somehow, it still fits up to four USB 2.0 ports, mini HDMI, VGA and as much as 64GB of storage. The board's real tricks are its dual integrated graphics processors: the VAB-800 can independently steer two displays, just in case your in-car infotainment system can't be contained by merely one screen. You'll likely have to be a car designer or an industrial device maker to make an order, although the 5W power draw and support for Android, Ubuntu Linux and Windows Embedded Compact 7 should soon see the VAB-800 crammed into logic-defying spaces everywhere.

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VIA Announces First Embedded ARM Based Pico-ITX Board, VIA VAB-800

Ultra low power ruggedized design ideal for a broad range of industrial and in-vehicle applications

Taipei, Taiwan, 24th July, 2012 - VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient computing platforms, today announced the VIA VAB-800 Pico-ITX embedded ARM board. Featuring a choice of an 800MHz or a 1GHz Freescale ARM Cortex-A8 processor, the VIA VAB-800 combines a wide operating temperature range with extremely low power consumption to meet the demands of high-end industrial and in-vehicle fanless embedded applications.

Based on the industry standard 10 cm x 7.2 cm Pico-ITX form factor created by VIA, the VIA VAB-800 Pico-ITX board combines a rich I/O set with superb multimedia performance, supporting playback of the most demanding video formats in resolutions up to 1080p. Leveraging VIA's hardware design expertise, the VIA VAB-800 delivers the highest I/O integration on the Pico-ITX form factor for an ultra compact yet highly flexible platform for the latest embedded devices.

The extremely ruggedized VIA VAB-800 Pico-ITX supports a wide operating temperature range from -20 to 70 degrees Celsius in an ultra low TDP envelope of only 5W and is backed with a minimum seven years longevity support.

Customers can take advantage of VIA's worldwide embedded software development expertise to quickly create customized designs for a fast time to market approach and is available as a hardware starter kit with board support packages (BSPs) for the Android, Ubuntu and Windows Embedded Compact 7 operating systems.

"The VIA VAB-800 extends our industry leading range of Pico-ITX embedded platforms," said Epan Wu, Head of the VIA Embedded Platform Division, VIA Technologies, Inc. "As a leader in hardware and software support, VIA can tailor our new ARM based offerings for customers to create systems through starter kits, customization support or offering complete systems for different applications."

VIA VAB-800 Pico-ITX

Based on the ultra compact Pico-ITX form factor, measuring 10 cm x 7.2 cm, the VIA VAB-800 combines the choice of an 800MHz or a 1GHz Freescale ARM Cortex-A8 processor with two independent, fully integrated GPUs for a power efficient platform with a max TDP of a mere 5W. The two integrated GPUs provide support for dual independent displays along with 3D/2D graphics acceleration to deliver full HD playback support for the most demanding video formats in resolutions up to 1080p.

Rear I/O includes one Mini HDMI and one VGA display port, two USB ports and one 10/100 Ethernet port. On-board features include up to 64GB eMMC Flash memory, 1GB DDR3 SDRAM, support for one SATA port, two single channel LVDS display ports, two COM ports, CAN Bus, front pin headers for line-in/out and MIC-in, a further two USB 2.0 ports, an SDIO pin header and eight GPIOs.