VIA unleashes Nano-ITX products at CeBit

In a flood of no less than five separate press releases accompanying a CeBit press conference, VIA introduced its new Nano-ITX form factor, chipset, and motherboards to the world today.

The heart of the Nano-ITX push is the new CN400 "advanced digital chipset" for VIA's lineup of low-power processors. The CN400 incorporates S3's graphics technology in the form of the UniChrome Pro IGP, a DeltaChrome-derived graphics core for core-logic chipsets. The UniChrome endows the CN400 with hardware acceleration for MPEG2 and MPEG4 playback, along with adaptive de-interlacing and S3's pixel shader-based "video de-blocking" filters. Oh yeah, it does 3D, too. Of course, the CN400 won't only live in the Nano-ITX world, and larger motherboards based on it can include an AGP 8X slot. However, VIA is clearly aiming the CN400 at, as they put it, "smart digital entertainment devices such as PVRs, set top boxes, and media centers."

VIA will employ the CN400 in its new N-Series of Nano-ITX motherboards, measuring a teensy 12cm squared—hence the nano. You can get a look at an N-Series motherboard right here and ogle its amusingly miniscule features, including an ATA/133 connector that takes up over half the length of the board's edge. These mighty mites will pack an embedded processor, the CN400 north bridge with UniChrome graphics, DDR400 support, on-board Serial ATA RAID, six-channel audio, Ethernet, VGA and S-Video outputs, and the usual array of PC I/O connectors like USB and serial ports. VIA's desktop south bridge, the VN8237, supplies many of these capabilities. 'tis a little jarring to see such up-to-date specs on a 12cm by 12cm motherboard, though.

To stir up more hubbub about its new little big thing, VIA has announced a new digital music player called Nanode. About the size of a music box, Nanode will be sold by ", an independent Mini-ITX enthusiast and retailer website," according to VIA.

The firm also announced the release of a new Padlock Security Suite for its CPUs and a cross-promotion deal for its Vinyl Audio products with audio software company Steinberg.

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