Taiwan’s Via Technologies has begun shipping the first Mini-ITX motherboard designed for the Luke version of its CoreFusion processor, marking a milestone in the company’s efforts to consolidate the key components of a PC into a single chip.
Luke is based on the Nehemiah version of Via’s C3 processor core and runs at clock speeds of 533MHz, 800MHz and 1GHz, while consuming a maximum of 10 watts of power. In addition to the processor core, the CoreFusion design incorporates integrated graphics and a Northbridge chipset in the same package.
In a typical PC, the Northbridge is one of two chips that make up a PC chipset. The Northbridge handles data transactions between the processor, main memory and the accelerated graphics port slot. It is connected to the Southbridge, which handles connections to other components, such as the hard-disk drive.
Combining the processor and Northbridge in a single package allowed Via to reduce the size of the motherboard required for a CoreFusion-based system, making the chip well-suited for computers where size is a factor, such as media centers. The company has estimated it can reduce the size of a motherboard by up to 15 percent with the CoreFusion processor design.
Mini-ITX is a standard for small motherboards developed by Via. The boards measure 17 by 17 centimeters and are designed for use in small computers.
The first such motherboard to support Luke is Via’s EPIA EK board, which was announced on Thursday. The board is designed for 800MHz and 1GHz versions of Luke. When used with the 800MHz version of the chip, the motherboard does not require a fan to cool the processor.
The EPIA EK will be available in stores this month. Pricing was not available.
-Sumner Lemon, IDG News Service (Beijing Bureau)
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