VIA's Em-ITX Platform Is Smaller Than Mini-ITX

Late last month, VIA came clean with its very first Pico-ITX box, and now the company is unveiling an entirely new form factor: Em-ITX. Reportedly, it's the first form factor that comes standard with "dual I/O coastlines." The benefit? It should reduce cable clutter, improve airflow and enable sub-2-centimeter high embedded systems.

That last bit is rather important, as you aren't apt to see this pushed much in the consumer realm. Rather, it will likely be reserved for enterprise customers and those dealing specifically with embedded products. Think car PCs, digital signage, home automation, and the like. The new design is around 30 percent more compact than Mini-ITX, yet it offers up a whopping 200 percent more input/output real estate. Em-ITX measures in at 12 centimeters by 17 centimeters and includes an exclusive expansion bus that provides even more flexibility and scalability. Not surprisingly, the latest 64-bit VIA Nano processor is ripe for usage on this platform.

As for those dual coastlines, the inputs can be found on both 17 centimeter edges of the board, with a pretty big variety of connectors available: COM (RS-232/422/485), RJ45, DVI, VGA, LVDS, USB 2.0 and DC power signals. The expansion bus is there to integrate with stackable, customizable, expansion modules including USB 2.0, GPIO, LPC, PCIe, IDE, IEEE 1394, S-ATA, PCI, DVI, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet and Card Bus signals. We'd ask if anyone can really go any smaller while still leaving room for actual components, but we already know the answer. ('s "yes.")