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VIA reveals world's lowest-power x86 processor on world's smallest board

Since nothing gets Toybox readers going quite like processor wars -- I mean, hey, it's the Crusades of computing -- I thought I'd throw this little morsel into the ring.
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Written by Andrew Nusca on

VIA Pico-ITX boardSince nothing gets Toybox readers going quite like processor wars -- I mean, hey, it's the Crusades of computing -- I thought I'd throw this little morsel into the ring.

Arriving in the Toybox inbox this morning from Taipei is news that VIA Technologies has announced their VIA EPIA PX5000EG Pico-ITX board -- the world's smallest mass-production x86 board, they say -- now featuring the extremely power-efficient, fanless 500MHz VIA Eden ULV processor, "offering embedded developers an uncompromisingly compact, highly integrated board," the company says.

Much of the heat and power efficiency of the duo is thanks to the processor, which has a maximum thermal envelope of a single watt.

How small is small,you ask? The Pico-ITX form factor squeezes a full feature set into just 10 cm x 7.2 cm, which would fit in the palm of your hand. The board includes both LVDS/DVI and VGA support, integrated 5.1 channel audio, fast 100/10 Ethernet, both IDE and S-ATA drive support and up to six USB ports and a COM port. It supports up to 1GB of DDR2 system memory.

For the sake of saving space, the rest of the down n' dirty specs are here, on VIA's website. By the way -- the company's so confident in their board that they're offering a 'Naked Pico Challenge,' where they will push the VIA EPIA PX5000EG Pico-ITX board to its absolute limits by running a system under full load without any cooling whatsoever. Users who can correctly guess how long the board can take the strain and win a VIA ARTiGO Pico-ITX Builder Kit.

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