VIA preps C7-oriented 'mini PC' chipset

Low-power part for SFF systems

VIA is set to ship the latest chipset for its low-power x86-compatible C7 processor - aka 'Esther' - next quarter, the company said today. It will pitch the part at small form-factor PC makers and consumer electronics companies keen to break into the media centre market.

The CN700 IGP incorporates a UniChrome Pro graphics engine from VIA subsidiary S3 Graphics. The graphics core supports HDTV resolutions up to 1080p, along with MPEG 2 decoding for DVD playback. It also supports AGP 8x for an external video card.

The chips support up to 2GB of DDR and DDR 2 SDRAM, clocked at up to 533MHz. The chipset connects to the CPU across a 400MHz or 533MHz frontside bus.

VIA will offer the part with its VT8237A South Bridge, which features eight-channel audio, and support for two Serial ATA devices with RAID 0, 1, 0+1 and JBOD, plus four ATA-66/100/133 peripherals. It also provides eight USB 2.0 ports, 10/100Mbps Ethernet, a 56Kbps modem, half a dozen PCI slots and legacy ports.

The CN700 will ship in volume quantities in Q1 2006, VIA said. The C7 CPU is fabbed at 90nm using silicon-on-insulator technology by IBM. It shipped in June this year. ®

VIA CN700 IGP chipset

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