You have to wonder -- how many more new chip releases does VIA
have queued up for this month? After announcing its VX855
Media System Processor and its Surfboard C855
reference design, the company famous for its low-power, low-cost processors is delivering another new one. Unlike those other examples, though, this one's aimed straight at your automobile.
The IVP-7500 board is the first in a forthcoming line of dedicated x86 in-vehicle platforms for developers of car PCs and intelligent transportation devices, and while carputers aren't anything new, VIA is hoping to expand the niche by adding new features that even general drivers can appreciate. For instance, this board could be used to bring advanced GPS to auxiliary displays, control in-car cameras for video assisted parking and highway surveillance recording, record vital engine statistics and even bring Minesweeper to the driver's seat.
The flexible VIA IVP-7500 measures 114mm x 185.5mm and can be employed in a variety of dashboard implementations, including one or two DIN designs as well as discrete, in-seat and headrest designs. As for specifications, it includes a fanless 1.0GHz VIA Eden CPU and supports up to 1GB of DDR2 RAM. There's also support for an LCD output, TV / VGA outputs and camera ports for monitoring applications. Storage wise, you're looking at a 1.8" IDE hard drive, SD card reader and compatibility with HD audio to boot. Finally, VIA has rolled in a GPS module, FM transmitter, Bluetooth module, two USB 2.0 ports and an IR adapter. VIA's currently offering samples to customers, though there's no mention of price or when we'll see shipping products based on this design.