While many in the chip making and consumer electronics business are contracting, VIA's expanding. Today, the company has just announced its entry into the design manufacturing service business, which will enable it to provide flexible system hardware solutions, starting with the NSD7200 home storage and media server pictured below.
's definitely had time to dabble in small form factor, embedded and IPC markets, so branching out into this market shouldn't take you completely by surprise. VIA's goal here is to combine energy-efficient processor platforms and high quality chassis designs with a full design manufacturing service and comprehensive engineering support, thus providing better service to system integrators and retailers by speeding up product cycles and reducing production costs.
We have to say, if the first product in this initiative is indicative of the rest, we're pretty excited. The NSD7200 ultra compact 2-bay storage server looks like a perfect choice for those itching to get their hands dirty with Windows Home Server and get a better handle on household media. Of note, VIA isn't exactly aiming this one directly at consumers; rather, it's hoping that OEMs and ODMs pick this up in order to push out customized solutions for headless storage and media server activities.
The box itself measures just 5.3”x 4.7”x 10.2” and gets powered by a 1.5GHz VIA C7-D processor. There's also 2GB of DDR2 RAM, a pair of SATA drive bays (with integrated power ports) and a Type I CompactFlash socket located eneath the motherboard for discrete OS installation. Naturally, a Gigabit Ethernet jack is provided along with optional support for an 802.11b/g Wi-Fi module. Finally, two USB 2.0 sockets are placed on the rear (along with one on the front) for easy accessibility for USB peripherals such as flash drives or memory card readers.
VIA closes things out by saying that this box will only be made available to customers who it considers to be an OEM or ODM, but given just how great this looks in factory form, we wouldn't be surprised to see at least one or two outfits sell it as-is in the near future for an undisclosed price.