I'm very intrugued by the recent information on the VIA motherboards. These are high-speed, small footprint motherboards that appear to be ideal for small robotics systems. Their current offering, the Micro-ITM, is a 7.5"x7.5" board, and they have announced a new Nano-ITX board that is 4.5"x4.5", due out by the end of the year.
I am compiling information on these boards and want to configure a system that uses:
- A small Linux installation.
- C, C++, or Java for the application code.
- A 12VDC power source.
- External I/O that is easy-to-use and
easy-to-program, such as parallel-port,
serial-port, USB, other? Used to incerface with:
- Motors (PWM?).
- Various sensors.
- Small LCD display for info (i.e. 20 chars x 2 lines).
- Co-processing boards such as a BOTBoard ot PIC.
- LEDs, lots of LEDs. Kids like blinky lights!
- Does not require a hard drive due to size, power, and robustness.
- One or more low-cost cameras for sensing.
- No monitor for normal operation, but can use a monitor for programming and debugging.
The information I have found includes the following links. Please forward or reply with additional information to help understand the configuration options available and what people have found works. I'm already building a 6" cube robot that will take the new 4.5"x4.5" Nano-ITX board when it is available:
http://www.via.com.tw/en/Digital%20Library/PR 030924VTF-5_VI AKeynote.jsp
Questions I'm fuzzy about:
- I've seen references to the Mini-ITX and the Micro-ITX. Are they 2 names for the same thing, or different boards?
- Does anyone know any additional specifice on the Nano-ITX board, such as availability date, cost, processor speed, power requirements, etc?
- Will the 12VDC power board for the Mini-ITX also work for the Nano-ITX board? It looks like power-wise and connector-wise it should work, but it also looks like it is more than 4.5" in length.