VIA Unveils World’s Lowest Power CPU

VIA Technologies recently unveiled the EPIA PX5000EG Pico-ITX board, which features a 1-watt Eden ultra low power processor for embedded systems. According to VIA, the new board promises to improve power efficiency and could be suited for several applications, including heat-sensitive devices such as mobile phones, PDAs, and laptops.

The creation of the VIA EPIA PX5000EG Pico-ITX board by VIA Technologies has set a new standard in the industry. Up until now, x86 platforms had a higher power limit, which caused microchips to heat. Because heating considerations limited designers when developing systems with high bus speeds, it was impossible to produce processors with higher speeds. Building on the success of the VIA EPIA PX10000 Pico-ITX board, the world’s smallest mass production x86 board, the VIA EPIA PX5000EG has even better heat and power efficiency. With the 500MHz VIA Eden ultra-low-volume (ULV) processor, the maximum power draw is just one watt.

Developed exclusively by VIA, the Pico-ITX form factor squeezes a full feature set into a mere 10cm x 7.2cm. Although the new board is very small, it includes LVDS/DVI and VGA support, has an integrated 5.1 channel audio, fast 100/10 Ethernet, both IDE and S-ATA drive support, up to six USB ports, and a COM port.

System designers of embedded automation and industrial control devices can benefit from the new innovation by minimizing current electronics into the most extreme space constrained and heat sensitive environments. ‘The introduction of the VIA EPIA PX5000EG elevates the VIA EPIA range of innovative embedded solutions to new heights of thermal and energy efficiency in an extremely miniaturized form factor,” said Daniel Wu, Vice President, VIA Embedded Platform Division, VIA Technologies.

Intel’s latest ultra low power processor, the ATOM, has recently hit the market and is expected to find its way into many of the next generation sub-notebooks and Ultra Mobile PCs (UMPCs), such as the upcoming ASUS EeePC 901 and the MSI Wind. However, even the ATOM has higher power requirements, ranging from 2W (core-solo) to 8W (dual-core). To be fair, VIA’s 1W technology is currently offering reduced performance (and rated Megahertz CPUs), so it is possible that both companies will find their own niche in the ever expanding low-power market.

TFOT recently covered another VIA product – VIA EPIA M700 Dual Digital Displays. TFOT has also covered the motherboards presented at CeBIT 2008, which featured some of the latest technologies in the field. You can also read about the CeBIT 2008 Ultra Mobile PC’s.

For more information on the EPIA PX5000EG see VIA’s press release.

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