VIA has introduced a new board which you can use to build a low-power, small form-factor PC or embedded device. The VAB-600 is a Pico-ITX board which measures just 3.9″ x 2.8″ and which features an 800 MHz VIA Wondermedia WM8950 ARM Cortex-A9 processor with Mali-400 graphics.

VIA VAB-600

Clearly a system with that chip isn’t likely to replace your Windows desktop PC anytime soon. But the board includes 1GB of built-in RAM and 4GB of storage, and should be able to handle Google Android or basic Linux applications.

The board features a USB 2.0 port, two mini USB ports, GPIO pins, a mini PCIe slot, an Ethernet jack, and optional support for a touchscreen, SIM card, 3G, or WiFi.

You can contact VIA’s sales team for information on prices — the company doesn’t yet offer this model in its online store.

via CNX Software

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3 replies on “VIA launches VAB-600 Pico-ITX board with a WM8950 CPU”

  1. Someday I’ll understand why VIA, who is one of the very few companies with an x86 license, makes these boards. I get why they’d want to, but they always seem to miss being useful by a wide margin. Take this board, a single low clocked A9 would have been sad in a phone in 2010… And yet they aren’t gimped on RAM like so many of the Chinese boards, and I’m curious about what kind of fixed function hardware they mixed into the SOC.

    The problem I have when looking at these boards is that my choices usually boil down to: I can have too much CPU for the resources so that the cores will end up cycling waiting on IO in standard usage models (Quad Cores with 512MB of RAM I’m looking at you), or I can go with something like this with tons of ram but not enough CPU to seemingly make a good use of it.

    Oh well. I kind of feel for VIA. I bought one of their EDEN boards in 2001 and made a low powered Linux storage server that just recently died (lasted 12 years, no complaints for $110). I’d love to move to one of their ARM systems to replace it, but they can’t seem to find a healthy mix of performance per watt since (they tend to error towards low wattage and hence ultra-low performance), and tend to be on the pricey side for what they’re offering (at least here in the states), and boards with enough SATA connections to run a NAS seem to be specialty beasts.

    1. for a storage server a small raspberry pi model A should suffice 25$

    2. I like how you suggest people use their CPUs…

      It’s all about RAM, memory bandwidth (and other bandwidth) and GPU in smartphones and tablets these days. Look at your average work PC with a core i7 cpu, pc1333+ ram and 4+ gigs of it, all to run what? Libreoffice? Chrome? VLC -maybe-, and solitaire? Please.

      I install point of sale systems in retail locations and I’ve moved completely to ARM hardware for several reasons, not the least of which being the cost of electricity. At one location the owner owned something called a Kill-a-watt and measured out $15/mo in electricity being consumed by his 450-watt-powered x86-based point of sale. We dropped in an APC IO running a VIA 800Mhz ARM processor and 512MB of RAM.

      With over 65k SKUs on a MySQL database running on a microsd card on the board record fetch time was within a few milliseconds, which is virtually identical to the x86 performance for this task.

      The hardware paid for itself by offsetting the power bill in a little over 3 months, and it’s been installed for 9 so far.

      Don’t pretend this new ITX board will run GTA V for you, or become your new DV editing station. Let it fill the needs it was designed to fill and judge it on those.

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