Mini-ITX 2.0: The Mini PC Platform of the Future
After inventing the form factor in 2001, VIA has redefined the platform in 2008 to create a new standard for optimized performance and freedom of choice in small form factor desktop PCs.
Today's Mini-ITX mainboards have come a long way in seven years, with faster processor speeds yet more power efficient platforms than ever, richer digital media feature integration, and greater connectivity and storage options. VIA boards now feature PCI Express, DDR2, SATA II, multi-channel HD audio and much more, and VIA is continually investing resources in developing ways to integrate ever greater functionality into small footprint platforms.
To extend its leadership at the cutting edge of small form factor innovation, VIA announced Mini-ITX 2.0, setting a minimum standard of the latest PC technology specifications for Mini-ITX mainboards designed for small form factor desktop PCs. This is aimed at providing OEMs, system integrators and end-users alike greater freedom of choice in configuring mini PCs and home media centers to deliver the graphics, high definition video, and computing experience required in today's media rich environment.
Mini-ITX is the ideal platform for next generation mini PCs due to its advanced performance, high levels of feature integration, and easy expandability, coupled with the broad infrastructure of cases and accessories that has been built up around the form factor.
Processor: Central to Mini-ITX 2.0 is a high performance yet power efficient x86 processor, such as the VIA Nano processor, to provide all the horsepower necessary for running the latest applications and operating systems in a space-constrained environment.
Graphics & Video: Increasingly immersive graphics and high definition visual computing are demanding ever more powerful graphics and video, including DirectX® 10 graphics and Blu-ray Disc™ playback. Mini-ITX 2.0 defines a 16-lane PCI Express slot as a prerequisite, enabling the integration of a high performance graphics add-in card into the system in order to play the latest, most sophisticated PC games and highest density video formats.
Audio: With PCs increasingly used as home media centers, it is vital for mini PCs to deliver rich 6-channel surround sound that meets the HD audio specification, for a more authentic entertainment experience.
Mini-ITX 2.0 Standard
The Mini-ITX 2.0 open industry standard defines minimum platform technology requirements for media-rich optimized mini PCs:
- Processor: High-performance, power efficient x86 processor, such as the VIA Nano processor
- Memory: Support for minimum 2GB DDR2 SDRAM
- Graphics: DirectX 9.0 integrated (IGP); DirectX 10 through an add-in card
- Display: 1 VGA port for LCD display; 1 HDMI port on add-in card
- HD Audio: 3 Audio jacks for up to 6-channel surround sound
- Broadband Connectivity: 1 Gigabit LAN port
- Storage: 2 Serial ATA II slots + 1 IDE (PATA) slot
- Peripheral Connectivity: Minimum 4 USB2.0 ports
- Expansion: 1 PCI Express 16-lane slot
- Size: 17cm x 17cm
- O/S Support: Microsoft® Windows Vista®; Microsoft Windows Vista Premium (through an add-in graphics card); Microsoft Windows® XP, and major Linux distributions such as Ubuntu, Suse Linux and gOS
More information about the Mini-ITX form factor may be found here.
Details of all today's VIA Mini-ITX boards can be found here.
Please download the presentation from the VIA press conference held during Computex Taipei 2008, in which the Mini-ITX 2.0 concept was introduced after an explanation of VIA's path to the VIA Nano processor.
VIA's Path to the VIA Nano Processor, and the Introduction of Mini-ITX 2.0