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News Release

VIA EPIA M-Series and TinyByte Navigate the Mobile Recreation Vehicle Market

The TinyByte Board Computer based on the VIA EPIA M9000 Mini-ITX mainboard brings digital media entertainment, communication, and navigation functionality to yachts, cars and recreational vehicles

Troisdorf, Germany, 19 March 2003 - VIA Technologies, Inc., a leading innovator and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions, today announced that SPI-Marine GmbH has made available the TinyByte Board Computer based on the ultra compact VIA EPIA M9000 Mini-ITX mainboard, for mobile communication, navigation and entertainment in yachts, cars and recreational vehicles.

"We had a long wish-list from the users of Board Computers as to which features they wanted to integrate in their onboard systems: GPS navigation, e-mail communication, playback of digital media as well as connectivity with external devices like digital cameras," said Ralf Goellnitz, General Manager of SPI-Marine GmbH. "The VIA EPIA Mini-ITX platform provided excellent performance in all of these areas with the necessary low power consumption available from these types of vehicles.

The TinyByte Board computer can work as a sea or land navigation center, thanks to the optional GPS receiver. It can also be set up to receive weather forecasts and storm warning information, transmitted through the NAVTEX system, and an external USB module provides information regarding current weather conditions and gives pre-warnings about storms if unexpected air-pressure changes occur. Moreover, connecting the unit to a GSM mobile phone enables access to Internet and e-mail. The TinyByte also shines with a wide assortment of entertainment options: DVD, CD and MP3 playback, as well as connection to digital cameras to transfer digital images and videos while on board.

Thanks to its small size, the TinyByte Board Computer has been optimized to fit into the panel of most sailing or motorized yachts and can also be integrated into trailers. The low power consumption of the system (25W on average) enables the TinyByte to use the standard yacht or car batteries and makes operation of the system virtually silent.

"The 'lifestyle' segment of the IT market, which includes car, boat and trailer PCs, is growing rapidly, yet sets demanding thermal and physical requirements for onboard operation," said Michal Lisiecki, Regional Marketing Manager at VIA Europe. "The TinyByte Board Computer takes full advantage of the small size and excellent low power properties of VIA EPIA M mainboard, and we are delighted that SPI-Marine have demonstrated the commercial application of the board in such a unique way with this versatile system."

TinyByte Specification and Availability

TinyByte Board Computer is based on VIA EPIA M9000 mainboard, with integrated 933MHz VIA C3 EBGA processor. Integrated FireWire (IEEE 1394) and USB 2.0 enable the seamless integration of external devices, including hard drives, scanners and cameras. Based on VIA Apollo CLE266 chipset, VIA EPIA M9000 mainboard features an embedded MPEG-2 decoder for silky smooth DVD playback. The user's digital media experience is further enhanced by support for 5.1 surround sound. Board Computer is Microsoft® Windows® certified and is fully compatible with Linux.

TinyByte comes with the choice of power supply - standard 12V or external 110/220V, optionally also 9-16V power supply is available. The system has been tested for shocks and vibrations.

TinyByte is available now at the price of EUR 1679 from SPI-Marine GmbH (www.spimarineshop.de). Also available is the whole set of accessories for use with TinyByte Board Computer.

The TinyByte Board Computer is one of several VIA EPIA Mainboard Series Partner Products that can be found at: http://www.via.com.tw/en/VInternet/ppp2.jsp.

About the VIA EPIA M-Series Mini-ITX Mainboard

The VIA EPIA M-Series Mini-ITX Mainboard is a revolutionary 17cm x 17cm platform optimized for today's killer digital video and audio applications, and is fully compatible with Microsoft® and Linux-based operating systems. Available with an embedded VIA Eden™ ESP processor core for fanless, ultra-quiet systems, or an embedded VIA C3® E-Series processor for more demanding digital multimedia applications, the EPIA M-Series is the perfect platform for a whole range of small form factor, low-power digital media devices and home entertainment centers.

Featuring the new VIA Apollo CLE266 chipset with embedded MPEG-2 decoder and a new integrated 2D/3D graphics core, the VIA EPIA M-Series platform provides smooth DVD playback and a rich overall entertainment experience. With the sizable memory bandwidth of DDR266 SDRAM and the high data transfer speeds of ATA/133, the VIA EPIA M-Series ensures the high performance levels required of today's most popular digital media and productivity applications. The user's digital media experience is further enhanced by support for 5.1 surround sound, courtesy of the onboard VIA VT1616 6 Channel AC'97 codec.

The latest in high-bandwidth connectivity is supported with IEEE 1394 and USB 2.0 connections provided, as well as S-Video and RCA TV-Out (NTSC & PAL) and 10/100 Ethernet for seamless broadband connectivity. The VIA EPIA M-Series also offers support for the latest LVDS embedded LCD panels, has one PCI slot for expandability options, and is compatible with a full range of Mini-ITX chassis as well as FlexATX and MicroATX enclosures.

Further information on the VIA EPIA M-Series Mini-ITX mainboard may be found at:
www.viavpsd.com/product/epia_m_spec.jsp?motherboardId=81

About SPI-Marine GmbH

SPI-Marine GmbH develops and markets powerful hard-and software solutions for industry and private users, from entrance solutions up to high-end-systems. SPI was founded 1980 and is headquartered in Ahrensburg near Hamburg, with branches in Herne and Stuttgart (West-and Southern Germany). SPI-Marine is a line of business, which focuses in the development and marketing of innovative devices, specialized for the use in sailing yachts, motorboats and trailers. The products of the SPI Marine are sold European-wide over a network of competent dealers and over the Web Shop www.spimarineshop.de.

PC2U PR Contact

International: Arthur Barasch
Phone: +49-511 8489971
Fax: +49-511 8489972
Email: barasch@icp2u.de


VIA PR Contacts

International: Europe:
Richard Brown
Phone: (886)-2-2218-5452 #6201
Fax: (886-2)-2218-5453
Email: Richard_Brown@via.com.tw
Michal Lisiecki
Phone: (49-2241) 39778-16
Fax: (49-2241) 39778-19
Email: MichalLisiecki@via.com.tw

Note to reporters, editors and writers: VIA is spelled in ALL CAPS.

All product or service names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.


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