Thursday, April 06, 2006

VIA Launches Single-Chip Embedded VIA CX700 Chipset

VIA's CX700 packs a horde of features into a 37.5mm x 37.5mm package

VIA today announced the new CX700 digital media IGP chipset for its C7 and Eden processor platforms. The CX700 offers a rich embedded platform complete in an ultra-efficient (3.5 watt maximum power envelope), single-chip package.

The CX700 features a 128-bit VIA UniChrome Pro IGP core with hardware MPEG-2 decoding, VIA Vinyl HD Audio, support for up to 4GB of either DDR400 or DDR2-533 memory, along with SATA, SATA-II, PATA, and support for up to six USB ports. VIA's press release claims:

In the CX700, VIA has integrated all the key functionality of both the North and South bridges of a regular VIA chipset into a single chip package exactly the same size as a North bridge, i.e. 37.5mm x 37.5mm, representing a saving of over 34% in board real estate. This represents a major breakthrough for the embedded industry where ultra compactness is essential, and will have significant benefit for embedded boards such as PC/104 and VIA EPIA mainboards.

Volume shipping of the VIA CX700 is expected to commence in Q2 2006. Three weeks ago, VIA announced the C7 processor with much fan-fare. The processor boasts a 1.2GHz to 1.5GHz core clock with an average power consumption under 1W -- perfect for the dozen or so UMPCs and PMPs that have lined up to adopt the C7. Industry insiders tell us that with the CX700 IGP, we should expect to see even more UMPC manufacturers make announcements since the chipset is really the first full featured, DX8.1 capable IGP with such low power requirements.

Interestingly enough, the CX700 has no PCIe support. While this is typically fine for SFF and embedded solutions, many SATA, Ethernet and audio interfaces are moving twoard PCIe as a unified interface.


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