PCs get smaller and smaller

PCs get smaller and smaller

Small, stylish consumer devices and smaller components proved equally as prominent as enterprise technologies at CeBit.

In the components space, Via officially introduced the smallest PC motherboard form factor to hit the market. The Nano-ITX, measuring 12cm x 12cm, is based on Via’s CN400 chipset and works with its Eden-N processor running at speeds of up to 1GHz.

The Eden-N did not need a cooling fan and measured 1.5cm x 1.5cm, smaller than any other x86 processor, Via said.

The CN400 chipset, also launched at CeBit, offers an integrated graphics core, hardware acceleration for MPEG2 and MPEG4 video and supported up to 1GB of Double Data Rate (DDR) dynamic RAM (DRAM), the company said.

The CN400 also supported Via’s Eden, C3 and Antaur processors running at speeds up to 1.4GHz, it said.

The first PC based on the Nano-ITX motherboard is expected to start shipping within the next three months. Called Nanode, the PC measures 9.4cm x 15cm x 16cm — one of the smallest fully-configured desktop computers ever made. It is being manufactured by a UK company, Hoojum Design.

Distributors looking for small form factor products could have a field day at the exhibition — with plenty of Asian manufacturers showing off their small, and sometimes bizarre, wares.

Taiwanese manufacturer Saint Song, for example, demonstrated tiny Pentium 4 PCs, in the hope of finding distributors for its products. Saint Song’s products are truly tiny — its latest product, the Latte Pentium 4, measures 205mm x 156mm x 62mm and weighs 1.9kg. The Latte is available in speeds of up to 3.06GHz, with an 80GB hard drive and a built-in 56Kbps V90 modem or Ethernet option. It also offered multiple connection options, including S-Video and AC Video ports, making it suitable as a multimedia home computer, sales manager, Max Wang, said.

The products are already sold across Asia and have some presence in the US, where the Latte sells for about $US800.

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