Tag Archive | "via"

Wondermedia Powering $100 Tablets This Year.

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Wondermedia are a subsidiary of VIA Technologies that launched their product, an ARM-based platform for low-power computing appliances, this time last year. We’ve heard a few bits and pieces about them over the year but it seems that they are now gearing up for a wave of customer products that will launch later this year.

Richard Brown, Marketing manager for VIA, has been in the U.S. briefing the press and has also taken the time to write up a little bit of information on his blog. The press articles I’ve seen so far  are hardly worth reading (Bloomberg simply taking the opportunity to spin an iPad article) but expect to see more soon. We’ll try and hook-up with Richard at Computex next week and get some hands-on for you too.

Please don’t expect iPad-killers though. The Wondermedia PRIZM platform is ARM9 based, contains DNLA support and video decoding hardware and is really targeted at simple internet and media presentation rather than multitasking and a rich, fast web experience. It’s comparable to the Rockchip in the Archos 7 Home Tablet which is already in the market.

g-link_alarm_v eken_m001_emusic_h

Haleron iLet Mini HAL – Watch Out!

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Just a quick word of warning. While the iLet Mini might look good and suggest a comfortable web browsing experience, it’s not exactly going to perform if you put it to those sort of tasks. The 600Mhz CPU that we suspect is VIA’s ARM9-based Wondermedia Prizm platform,  just doesn’t have the power to handle it.

If you need such a device, take a look at the SmartQ7 (ARM11) or the Wirelession 1060 / WITs A81 (even better, Cortex A8.) and leave the iLet Mini for ebook reading and MP3 playing only.

Haleron iLet Mini HAL the latest device to join the 7-inch tablet army.

VIA Mobile-ITX Product Announcement Is Re-Announced.

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It was June 2007 when we first got excited about the Mobile-ITX platform from VIA. It promised PC-like performance in a small and efficient motherboard and it looked like it would allow slicker, more efficient ultra mobile PC designs. Since then, Intel introduced the Menlow platform which does pretty much the same thing. It allows handheld, efficient, low-power small form factor computers. Over 2 years later, VIA finally announce that the Mobile-ITX platform will….actually it’s difficult to say. If you read the press release, it’s presenting information on a product that will be announced in Q1 2010. As for availability, maybe it takes another 2 years!

As least it will give Intel some competition and help to drive prices down but with ultra mobile PC operating system choices narrowing to Windows 7, this (1Ghz indicated) C7-based processing board (not complete motherboard) might be too little, too late for ultra mobile PC fans. Mobile-ITX looks like it will be a better fit in the place where VIA are aiming it; the embedded market.

via Pressemitteilung: VIA Mobile-ITX Referenzboard offiziell vorgestellt | Netbooknews.de – das Netbook Blog. [English press release and images available]

More information available from VIA  here. White Paper [PDF] here.

How To Be Mobile (and Win an NC20)

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samsung_nc20 Step 1. Go to HowtoBeMobile.com

Step 2. Highlight your favourite HD YouTube video and tell them why.

Step 3. Wait to see if you’ve won an NC20

TheNC20 might not be the most ‘ultra mobile’ PC out there (at 4.7 times the weight of a UMID for example) but notebooks in this bracket can make quite a good low-cost travel option so definitely come into the ‘mobile’ bracket.

All the details are at HowToBeMobile. Good luck!

Samsung Q1EX, Via Nano Tablet, Performance Tests and Round-Up.

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The Samsung Q1EX is due to head on to its next review appointment so it’s time for me to round-up my coverage of  it by giving you some performance test results and an overview. It should at least give a reference point for future VIA Nano-based products and an idea of where this device fits in. It’s a difficult device to position but when compared with peer devices, it offers improvements all round at a good value price.

Overall performance levels as measured by CrystalMark are in the netbook class which is good for a UMPC. I saw CPU results coming in at what I’d normally expect from a 1.3Ghz Atom Z-series CPU but similar clock-for-clock results when compared to, say, the older Pentium-M. It’s nearly twice as powerful as the VIA C7 at the same clock speed according to the results. The summary is shown below and the details can be seen here.

Read the full story

Samsung Q1-EX Video Demo from ‘How To Be Mobile’

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Smaller than I thought it would be and looking well designed (as always with Samsung devices) it’s the Samsung Q1-EX being reviewed by VIA’s ‘How To Be Mobile’ crew.

LaptopMag reviewed this recently and weren’t too impressed that the split mini thumboard was missing but as I said before, I think this one is targeted at a specific industry segment where it will fit perfectly with dedicated software. It may not be the perfect consumer ultra mobile PC but I’m eager to test it out with my ‘business’ hat on and see how the VIA Nano and VX800 chipset perform.

Previous articles on the Q1EX here. Full spec from Samsung here.

Source: HowToBeMobile

The 15% of netbooks you don’t see; from VIA

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Netbook 3G have lined up a stack of VIA C7-based netbooks that are expected to be shown at the Lunch@Piero’s event on the 9th.

VIA are said [cached news item] to have between 10 and 15% of the global netbook market. Most of the sales are outside the western markets so we rarely get to see the big picture. This showcase halps to put some perspective on it.

Via (French): Netbook 3G » CES 2009 : VIA présente des netbooks encore avec le VIA C7-M !.

Via’s Dual-core Nano. Nano 3000. VX800 successor

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PCWorld have just published an article that gives a nice overview of where the Nano is going. There’s a version ‘3000’ due for Q3 which will be that same as the curent Nano’s but will use an optimised manufacturing process. Then, in Q4, VIA will have a dual-core version ready.

In adition, Richard Brown of VIA, says the there’s a new chipset in the works and that the C7 will still be used for the current netbook market. As we thought, the Nano is really going to be for low cost laptops rather than anything ultra mobile but there’s still a chance that a low-end Nano will allow OEMs to offer higher-end versions of UMPCs.

What we really want to know is, where’s that Mobile-ITX product? It’s due for Q2 2009!

Via’s Dual-core Nano Processor on Track for Late 2009 – PC World.

Dr Mobile’s VIA Nano Freestyle Mini.

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drmobilefreestyleIt’s been known for a while that VIA would likely air their first Nano-based products at CES and Lunch@Piero’s is their traditional venue. VIA confirmed all this in a post recently and so it didn’t take much to throw all the keywords together and come up with this product that will be launched on the 8th. Its the Dr Mobile Freestyle Mini, an 8.9" screen device that you will probably recognise as the VIA Openbook reference design. 

It uses the VIA Nano (clock unknown) with the VX800 chipset with integrated video decoding which is an advantage over the Intel netbook platform. You’ll be able to get this with 3G/Wimax options. Availability is ‘now’ according to the website but we suspect, that Dr Mobile has put this page up a few days too early!

Obviously there are going to be comments about the keyboard not being optimal, battery life (the 4-cell battery appears to be very low capacity for a netbook) and questions about the 3D performance (it should be a lot better than the old VX700 chipset as it uses a new engine) but as with most of these netbooks, it will come down to price and availability.

The most interesting aspect for ultra mobile fans is to find out what sort of power drain the VIA platform has. Could it be used in smaller form factor devices like 7" slates to enable a fast Windows 7-ready platform for pro-mobility users? Could we see low-cost UMPCs performing like the Q1 Ultra Premium? Fingers crossed for some quality hands-on soon.

Dr Mobile is here (where you’ll also find an interesting 11.6" mini laptop)

You can find out more about the VIA Openbook through this page.

Another Android port – HP2133 Mini Note.

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hpandroid Why are we all so interested in Android on netbooks? Personally I think its the possibility that a major Linux distributor with a big ecosystem and a strong following and brand power could finally push through a useable alternative to XP on the low-end netbooks, UMPCs and MIDs. Intel are working on the same with Moblin and arguably have more resources working on it but it doesn’t have a single brand, it doesn’t have a distro-wide app store, hasn’t received the same media attention and it hasn’t passed into the hands of hundreds of thousands of, mostly very happy, owners yet.

Here’s another look at Android on an X86 platform. It’s a VIA-based HP 2133 mini note. We’ll all ask ourselves ‘why’ again but I think if Android carries on getting this much attention, it won’t be long before we say ‘when?’

Read the full story

VIA, Microsoft launch ‘Bazaar’ program for white-box netbooks.

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The blogosphere tends to be fairly polarized in terms of netbook reporting. In the western world, where most of the English-speaking bloggers, readers and advertisers are, we have a slick range of style-oriented designs that are mostly based on the Intel Atom processor. In other parts of the world, the situation is rather different. The focus is on functional, simple and extremely low cost PCs.

In developing countries, where SMS’ are used to agree contracts between remote communities, the idea of a 10" screen with a keyboard alone would be something new. It wouldn’t matter what’s inside it as long as it provides a basic computing experience and that’s why many people believe (including myself) that the big wave, the big sales numbers, will be in China, India and Africa.

VIA already does good trade in these areas with simple designs based on what we consider to an be ‘old’ C7-M processor. Microsoft already does trade with starter editions of XP, again, something we consider to be an old OS but it looks like the two companies want to get together, with a bunch of others, to really optimise their products and marketing for this segment with a new initiative called the Global Mobility Bazaar.

VIA Technologies, Inc., a leading innovator of power efficient x86 processor platforms, today announced the’Global Mobility Bazaar’ (GMB), an innovative industry infrastructure program aimed at driving the rapid global adoption of affordable mobilecomputing devices.

Through the GMB program, VIA is partnering with over 15 GMB manufacturers and infrastructure partners in China on the development of a wide variety of mini-notes, netbooks, and notebooks based around VIA’s ultra low power processor platforms.

Equipped with the Microsoft Windows XP operating system, these systems will deliver an optimized mobile computing and Internet experience across a variety of form factors with screen sizes ranging from 7" to 15".

[full press release. Website]

There are two things to note here. 1) XP looks like it will live on and in this program, you can bet that its being given away for next to nothing. 2) This looks like an X86-only initiative that will be used in positioning against ARM-based netbooks.

I spoke to VIA about this program yesterday. They are obviously excited about it and rightly so. They’ve seen what happened with sales of cheap mobile phones into developing countries and they want to stimulate the same thing with low-end portable computing devices. Sandisk, AMI (BIOS) and other partners are involved and we should be seeing the first netbooks becoming available at the end of December, they tell me.

Digitimes: Nano in HP, Mobile-ITX before Q2 2009.

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Article 1 – Digitimes reports that HP ordered 500,000 VIA C7’s and also placed an order for Nano CPUs.

Article 2 – Mobile-ITX is on target for Q4 2008 or Q1 2009.

I’m afraid the source trace ends at Digitimes for this story and there’s really not much detail here. The Nano order could be for Notebook PCs or it could be for a new HP2133. It’s anyone’s guess. As for the Mobile-ITX news, it’s just another target date. Sit-back and keep waiting with your fingers crossed!