Via VB8001 System Board
By dougm on Aug 27, 2009
The Via VB8001 system board was Via's first Via Nano based board. Subsequently, the VB8002 has been released. The board's specification includes:
- 1.6MHZ Via Nano Processor
- Via Chrome9 graphics
- 1 PCI Express slot
- 1 Mini-PCI slot
- 1 UltraDMA ATA connector
- 6 USB ports (2 USB 2.0)
- 2 SATA connectors
- 2 Fan connectors
- Via XC700M2 digital media chipset
- 1 GB RAM (up to 4GB)
- 1 Gbit Ethernet
- 1 Serial port
There are other features that may be of use in some applications such as FIR (IrDA 1.0), CIR and SMBs connector.
I'm using the VB8001 board in a Mini-Box M300-LCD case. The M300-LCD box takes a Mini-ITX board. In order to use the VB8001 in this box, it is necessary to have a cable that converts from the small USB pin headers to the slightly larger connectors that connect the front panel of the M300 to USB. Also, if you need to use a PCI Express card, a riser card is needed.
The Via Nano is Via's entry into the low power 64-bit x86 market. It is similar to some of the Intel Atom line of processors but has numerous features to increase performance. While most of the perforrmance features are transparent to the user and just work with OpenSolaris, there are a few that it would be nice to get OpenSolaris support for such as hardware cryptographic instructions and hardware random number generator.
The special features of the Mini-Box M300-LCD include an integrated USB based front panel that has buttons and an LCD display, ability to support up to two disk drives, and an integrated memory card slot. The combined system makes a nice looking unit for set-top or other appliance level device.
The VB8002 is another Nano based Mini-ITX board, but it is designed to support multiple types of media. It includes an HDTV encoder and support for DVI and SVideo.
Next time: Installing OpenSolaris on the VB8001