Via Pico-ITX Form Factor Becomes a Standard

Posted 3 Apr 2008 at 19:45 UTC by steve Share This

A recently formed non-profit industry group. the Small Form-Factor SIG (SFF-SIG) has adopted Via's 72mm by 100mm Pico-ITX form factor as a new standard. Expect to see other companies releasing micro-controllers with this form factor. And expect to start seeing them turn up in robots too. SFF-SIG says the standardized form-factor will soon include a stackable interface called the Stackable Unified Module Interconnect Technology (SUMIT) based on high-density blade connectors. PCI Express is another technology you can expect to see on the Pico-ITX boards. Members of SFF-SIG include Via, Octagon, Tri-M, Samtec, and WinSystems. For more see the LinuxDevices article on the SFF-SIG adoption of the Pico-ITX or read on the full text of the Via press release.

PRESS RELEASE April 3, 2008 For Immediate Release Contact: Pat Meier-Johnson 415-389-1700 Pat Meier Associates PR

Small Form Factor SIG Adopts VIA's Pico-ITX Specification

VIA transfers Pico-ITX™ to the SIG to standardize it as an embedded platform for ultra mobility silicon and broaden the market

Taipei, Taiwan, 3 April 2008 - VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator of power efficient `x86 processor platforms, today announced that it has agreed to transfer the Pico-ITX™ specification to the Small Form Factor Special Interest Group (SFF-SIG), which is leading a broad industry effort to create and promote standards for tiny computer and controller boards and modules, for the purpose of creating an official governing standard.

In return, the SFF-SIG will draft a formal specification document and promote it with the goal of broadening the number of suppliers and customers who build and purchase Pico-ITX-compatible single board computers (SBCs). The SFF-SIG intends to publish a specification within the next few months.

As a worldwide organization that seeks to identify and standardize appropriate small form factor technologies and building blocks, SFF-SIG sees Pico-ITX as an ideal platform for the new ultra mobility CPUs and chipsets, highlighting the key benefits of smaller size, reduced power consumption, and greater reliability over larger legacy products.

"Based on the positive customer interest and feedback so far, we see a good opportunity to rapidly build the market for Pico-ITX by working with the SFF-SIG to standardize it," said Daniel Wu, vice president, VIA Technologies, Inc. "Pico-ITX was developed to meet the evolving needs of the rapidly-expanding embedded industry, and its adoption by the SFF-SIG will enable more concerted development of the specification and its infrastructure."

"Adopting Pico-ITX is the first step toward creating a unified embedded platform for ultra mobility silicon," said Colin McCracken, president, Small Form Factor SIG. "Our next order of business is to define the SUMIT™ expansion interface. OEMs have requested both high-speed and low-speed serial buses for space efficiency, with an emphasis on low power and easy connectivity. We are working with chipset vendors to determine how ultra mobility silicon can best meet these needs over a ten year time horizon."

Companies interested in contributing to the development of the Pico-ITX specification, or in defining other SBCs and computer-on-modules for the new ultra mobility CPUs and chipsets should contact the SFF-SIG at: info@sff-sig.org.

About the Pico-ITX Form Factor

Representing the latest advance in board design, the Pico-ITX board form factor is a complete, native x86 board measuring just 100mm x 72mm, smaller than all existing standard industry form factors, and leverages VIA's extensive expertise in miniaturization at the silicon level through major advances in power efficiency, thermal management and feature integration.

75% smaller than VIA's successful Mini-ITX form factor introduced six years ago, the Pico-ITX truly embodies VIA's "Small is Beautiful" technology design strategy of shrinking the form factor to drive the x86 platform into ever smaller systems and whole new embedded device categories. For more information on the Pico-ITX form factor, please visit the VIA website at: www.via.com.tw/en/initiatives/spearhead/pico-itx/

About the Small Form Factor SIG

The Small Form Factor Special Interest Group is an international organization devoted to identifying, creating, and promoting standards that help electronics system and device manufacturers and integrators move to small form factor technologies and building blocks in their products, and protect such investments. Benefits of small form factor products include smaller size, reduced power consumption (eco-friendly, "green" products), and greater reliability compared to larger legacy products.

The SIG's philosophy is to embrace the latest technologies, as well as maintain legacy compatibility and enable smooth transition solutions to next-generation interfaces. New technologies available to long-lifecycle system and device manufacturers include lower power and highly integrated processors, chipsets, and memory based on 90nm, 65nm, and 45nm processes, higher density connectors with improvements for ruggedness, compact storage devices, and space-efficient signal interfaces.

Companies that can benefit from SFF-SIG membership include board suppliers with existing small form factor specifications that they can shepherd through the SIG's adoption and standardization process, or companies who want to participate in the development of important new standards that shape the evolution of electronics systems, or who are planning to develop their own small form factor boards. OEMs and integrators who simply need to stay abreast of off-the-shelf board technologies or who want to have more control of their own destiny regarding boards are also welcome. Discussing trends with some of the sharpest minds in the industry can spark ideas that benefit individual members with their own product roadmaps.

There are two membership categories for the SFF-SIG. Voting members are involved in promoting, supporting, and developing specifications for small form factor boards, components, and systems. In addition, voting members review specifications that are submitted to the SFF-SIG for adoption. Non-voting members provide inputs directly to internal specification development, and can view these specifications prior to publication, but do not cast approval votes.

For more information about the SFF-SIG, please visit www.sff-sig.org.

About VIA Technologies, Inc.

VIA Technologies, Inc is the foremost fabless supplier of power efficient x86 processor platforms that are driving system innovation in the PC, client, ultra mobile and embedded markets. Combining energy-saving processors with digital media chipsets and advanced connectivity, multimedia and networking silicon enables a broad spectrum of computing and communication platforms, including its widely acclaimed ultra compact mainboards. Headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan, VIA's global network links the high tech centers of the US, Europe and Asia, and its customer base includes the world's top OEMs and system integrators. www.via.com.tw

Note to reporters, editors and writers: VIA is written in ALL CAPS.

The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

Size, posted 4 Apr 2008 at 12:48 UTC by c6jones720 » (Master)

I wonder how long it will be until a computer as powerful as the Pico ITX can be shrunk down to the size of a Gumstix?

See more of the latest robot news!

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