Portwell brandishes nano-Atoms and embedded Core 2s

Staff Writer on

Despite the nano-ITX and mini-ITX formats being pioneered by VIA – who just launched the EPIA N700 – it is Intel which is capitalising on the formats.

The first company out the door with nano-ITX Atoms and embedded 45nm Core 2 Duos is Portwell, Inc., a Taiwanese company specializing in SBCs.

The products are called the NANO-8044 (irony strikes home as this is based on Intel’s Atom not Via’s Nano) and the WADE-8067 (we’d have gone with WALL-E, but hey…).

The nano-sized 8044 is just 4.72-inches by 4.72-inches and fits one 1.1GHz or 1.6GHz Atom CPU, one DDR2 SO-DIMM (1GB ma x), one PCIe x1 slot, IDE, LVDS and VGA, one CF type II, one SD slot, ALC888 audio and Gigabit Ethernet.

The UMPC and MID market is notoriously fickle when it comes to standardization, as you can imagine. The fact that it’s nano-ITX, by itself, will lube-up its insertion into the world of nano-ITX devices simplifying things a great deal.

According to the maker, the NANO-8044 uses up just 10W of juice at full load, which is quite impressive – although numbers are just numbers when you don’t include the remaining components. This also allows it to claim the “fanless” computing accolade.

Its brother in the embedded arena, the WADE-8067 provides a considerably more powerful solution for companies to build-on. It includes an embedded T9400 mobile Core 2 Duo CPU (yeah, the one with the 7-year support) and mobile GM45 chipset.

The board will accept up to 4GB of DDR3 SDRAM in SO-DIMM format and dual-display outputs via VGA, DVI, LVDS and HDMI.

It has six USB 2.0 ports (4 at the rear + 2 headers) and dual Gigabit Ethernet too. If the ODM desires it can slot in another graphics card in the PCIe x4 slot. That won’t give top-level graphics performance, but it’s about the most powerful kit we’ve seen in that teeny-tiny mini-ITX format.

It also sports legacy serial ports that are a necessary evil in this business segment.

We’re thinking the firepower on the WADE is overkill for most IPC appliances, but there are a bunch of HPC tasks that would benefit greatly from the T9400-based combo (one of which would be my HTPC rig at home).

You can try your luck at acquiring some samples of these, but they’re usually reserved for OEMs and insanely priced.
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