New VIA VB8001 ‘Nano’ processor and motherboard combo, plus more early info about holiday offerings


You guys like computers, do ya? Me too. I spent a fair amount of time with the good people at VIA today and got some info about various upcoming products – some that have just been announced and some that haven’t yet.

For starters, here’s the VIA VB8001 CPU and motherboard combo that was recently announced. It uses VIA’s new “64-bit, superscalar, 1.6GHz VIA Nano processor” – basically VIA’s answer to Intel’s Atom. The barebones kit will be available in two weeks and is comprised of a Mini-ITX board with support for 4GB of RAM, two SATA ports, gigabit LAN, mini-PC slot for optional add-on cards (like Wi-Fi), and a PCI Express slot.

The MSRP of this kit will be around $180 BUT I have it on good authority that there might just be a holiday promotion from a certain retailer (that I’m not allowed to mention by name yet) that’ll have this kit selling for $99. Just add RAM, a hard drive, and an O/S and you’re set. So keep that in your back pocket.

Also, VIA will be releasing an updated version of its popular-and-tiny ARTiGO kit. This one, called the ARTiGO 2000, will have a more polished, consumer-y look to it — similar to the Mac Mini. It’ll have a C7 chip running at 1.5GHz and will be able to hold two 3.5-inch hard drives. The initial kit will sell for $299 starting around December 10th or so, following by a Windows Home Server-certified kit selling in January or February.

The initial barebones ARTiGO 2000 kit will be ideal for building a home server and may get BitTorrent certification, making it a pretty sweet P2P workhorse that you could, for instance, set up right next to your TV (provided your TV has a VGA input). The version coming out in January/February won’t have any sort of video output, as Windows Home Server standards dictate that certified hardware must be “headless.”

Finally, here’s a photo of a little VIA board that’ll likely end up in certain mobile devices in the near future. It’ll apparently be easily extensible and relatively powerful, so it ought to be interesting to see what happens there. It’s got an embedded C7 chip, so we might see this kind of thing in UMPCs, perhaps certain netbooks, and other various mobile internet devices. Possibly even suped-up cell phones.