You have to say this about VIA Technologies>, they are indeed going for it in their battle for the ultra-portrable space. They’ve just announced an ‘open source’ reference design called the OpenBook Mini-Note, intended to give OEMs an easier path to build mini-notebooks, that of course include VIA’s chipsets. Here’s a snip from the press release:
Powered by the VIA C7-M ULV processor and the VIA VX800 digital media IGP chipset, the VIA OpenBook mini-note reference design is a small, 1kg, 8.9″ mini-notebook form factor design that supports screen resolutions of up to 1024×600 and high performance VIA Chrome9™ DirectX™ 9.0 3D graphics. Advanced video acceleration for MPEG-2, MPEG-4, WMV9, VC1 and DiVX video formats, a VMR capable HD video processor and 8-channel HD audio make it a highly media rich mini-notebook platform.
The VIA OpenBook mini-note reference design offers unrivaled broadband connectivity options VIA OpenBook Reference Design (camera)though two internal modules, with the first one featuring WiFi, Bluetooth, and optional AGPS connections and the second one offering a choice of WiMAX, HSDPA, or EV-DO/W-CDMA options. In addition, the VIA OpenBook also comes with three USB 2.0 ports, a VGA port, and audio-in/audio-out jacks as well as a 4-in-1 card reader (SD/SDIO/MMC/MS) and a 2 mega-pixel dual-headed web camera.
The VIA OpenBook supports a wide range of operating system environments, including Microsoft Windows Vista Basic, Microsoft Windows XP, and various Linux distributions. The device features up to 2GB DDR2 DRAM and can be equipped with a choice of hard disk drive and solid state storage options.
As a part of this initiative, VIA is making the CAD drawings for this reference design available on their site.
Will we see a flood of new models? It will be interesting to see how this affects the mini-notebook line going forward.