finally gotten around to finalizing its first Nano-based Mini-ITX motherboard, which goes under the name of VB8001 and it's using a 1.6GHz processor. The board is being demoed at the Embedded Systems Conference which is happening this week in Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
The good news is that the board follows the new 2.0 spec which allows for a PCIe x16 slot to be added to the board. It has two memory slots which will accept up to 2GB of DDR2 533/667MHz memory, a mini PCI slot (bottom mounted), two SATA connectors, an IDE port and headers for six USB 2.0 ports.
The selection of rear ports is very sparse with only two USB 2.0 ports, a pair of PS/2 ports, a Gigabit Ethernet port, a D-sub, a serial port and three audio jacks. The board supports 5.1-channel HD audio and there's a header for an S/PDIF connector.
We were really hoping for something a little bit more consumer focused from VIA this time around and although this board should be sufficient for most, with the addition of a half decent graphics card, the lack of ports around the back is disappointing.
The VIA CN896 chipset is hardly impressive and we're still hoping for a new chipset to arrive sometime soon from VIA. We're not sure if this board can compete with the Atom solutions on the market, although we'll have to wait for retail pricing to turn up before we know for sure, despite the better CPU.
You can find the product page here