VIA bakes a fruitier Rock cake to rival the Brit Raspberry Pi
Updated ARM-powered micro also brought to book
Computer electronics biz VIA has updated its Raspberry Pi rival APC - a micro-motherboard its maker calls a “bicycle for your mind” - which it brought to market last May.
The new board sports a new processor, more flash memory, better video output and, VIA said, more expansion options.
Rock'n'ruler: The new VIA APC computer
The APC is based on VIA’s own WonderMedia chip, an ARM Cortex-A9 system-on-chip running at 800MHz for which the company supplies a tuned version of the Android 4.0 operating system. The board has 512MB of DDR3 memory and 4GB of flash storage which can be expanded using MicroSD cards or drives hooked up to the unit’s two USB 2.0 ports.
There’s HDMI output for screens - at 1080p resolution - and 100Mb Ethernet for network connectivity. VIA said the board has a 20-pin ARM-JTAG header, plus general-purpose IO, SPI and I2C bus pins for hooking the APC up to whatever DIY hardware your mental pedalling has dreamed up.
The new APC will come in two forms: Rock is a $79 (£49) board with an additional VGA port while Paper is the same board minus VGA but supplied with a book-like cardboard case. Paper costs $99 (£62).
VIA says you can have Rock now if you order through its APC website, which also hosts all the documentation, bootloader and kernel source code. You can order Paper too, but it’s not shipping until March.
Meanwhile, we'll wait for Scissors. ®
But what of the
Lizard and Spock versions?
You have to slap "Android" on things these days to sell them. Some people seem to think it is a great desktop OS, even though it is designed for small screened touch based devices that make phone calls.
Personally I think that while VIA has the better board, the Pi has a bigger community behind it. The Pi has pretty much everything most people need, except maybe a few more USB ports.
The biggest uncertainty is what the hardware support is like. Does it have a good distro? stable Linux drivers? the Pi sound drivers aren't perfect but you can play HD video on a Pi very well.
Re: Overcrowded Market
@km123 - back in 2000 Linux was faster than Windows. Linux has *always* been faster than Windows. Installation was not as easy in those days due to lack of hardware support but that problem has gone away. Another problem that went away was RPM hell - package managers fixed that. So now Linux is almost perfect, really, as an OS. Only power management needs improving.
To say Linux was slow is a misunderstanding or a lie. Now, of course, Linux even faster, but even back then it was fast. Torvalds has never written anything slow (or permitted slowness into the kernel) . One thing is for sure, Win2000 ran faster than Win 7 and Win 8 do today, but Linux has always been faster than Win 2000 - this is not a my word vs your word exaggeration, but fact, look it up on the net.