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Hardware What happened to VIA? Tablets, platforms and x86 v ARM

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Sifter3000, 10 Aug 2010.

  1. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag New Member

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    i've never really had any issues with via. they make good stuff for incredibly cheap. of course you can't expect anything very high-end from them but if you're looking for middle-low end hardware i think its a great idea to use them. i'm working for ibm and i've noticed that there are a few cash registers that ibm makes that use via processors.

    i really hope via starts developing more towards x86 so they can give people more options. we can have intel for high end products, amd for middle end products, and via for low end. unfortunately, most people aren't going to be intelligent enough to figure out thats how the companies operate and i'm sure this won't happen any time soon.

    as a linux user, i wish other architectures would get more popular since i find x86 to become obsolete. 64 bit PPC and even SPARC (if it was kept up to date more often) are far superior to the capabilities of x86. i agree with via's strategy of sticking with arm for most of their products, because even arm has its advantages over x86.
     
  2. Farfalho

    Farfalho New Member

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    +1 bring it on the article
     
  3. javaman

    javaman May irritate Eyes

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    Tasing them isn't the problem.......hiding the evidence that you done so or provide proof it was justified is where the article will have its weight in gold :thumb:
     
  4. klutch4891

    klutch4891 New Member

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    Great article, but now I want to buy a Via P820...
     
  5. Xir

    Xir Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that's the kind of home automation big companies think of...but does Joe public care, and is he willing to pay for it?
    Do I really care about my heating burner sending data to it's maker, or do I care that I can't remember if i've left the oven on?
    Easy and cheap...
    turn on or off the lights from afar. Maybe activate the sprinkler in the garden. Turn up the heater an hour before you get home. Open the garage door from my phone when i come home.
     
  6. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    For myself, I think Via's low power stuff is the wave of the future. A year or so ago I built a file server based on a Via C7 board and aside from a couple of power outages and being taken off line for an upgrade, it's been happily running along 24/7, barely sipping power most of the time. It may not be the most powerful system on the planet, but it works perfectly for this application.

    I'm even considering building something similar for my desktop. my current machine is a beast, dual Opteron 250s, dual 7800GTs, and it makes a pretty good space heater. What do I use it for? Web browsing, mostly, and watching movies streamed from the fileserver. I bet you I could do 98% of what I use my current machine for with a 1.5 Ghz Nano and an SSD. The power savings would doubtless justify it. There will always be a place for high end machines, but I'm not sure on my desk is one of them.
     
  7. TomH

    TomH And like that... he was gone.

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    Regardless of whether or not they're more capable architectures, PPC and SPARC are declining against x86 because of cost/availability/suitability, etc.

    You can have very much the same argument for Fibre Channel over Ethernet: Fibre Channel - specifically its first two layers - are, by definition, far more capable (and robust) in relation to Ethernet. But Ethernet is the clear winner. Why? Because it's cheap, simple and effective for 99% of the networking requirements worldwide. As a result, Fibre Channel is yet more expensive and exclusive, whilst Ethernet receives far more development - it's now standardised at 100Gbit, which is over 10x that of 8Gbit FC. Supply and demand in action. :thumb:
     
  8. Evildead666

    Evildead666 New Member

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    Great Article. Nice to hear from the horses mouth so to speak as to why Via has almost disappeared from view.
    I've always like the Epia boards.
    I've always wanted to play with some Nano boards too, but never got round to it...
     
  9. phuzz

    phuzz This is a title

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    VIA are definitely at the top of my list for small form factor and low power devices, I've just not had much call for that recently (maybe a new computer for my parents, running Ubuntu just for web).

    I think home automation for white goods (ie refrigerators, air-con etc) will come as part of the drive towards 'smart appliances' that are designed to be semi controlled by the power company, for example, raising the thermostat on all the fridges by 1 degree to reduce power consumption enough to prevent a brownout.
    (yes it's a bit big brother like, but most people set their thermostats wrong anyway)
     
  10. crazyceo

    crazyceo New Member

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    You're forgeting that Shanghai has more Millionaires per square mile than any other city on the planet. VIA are doing very well in those areas due to pure volume of products being shifted. HP, Apple, Dell can only dream of the same volume figures. I agree, they could tart up the quality a bit better and try to make the next shiny thing for the BBC presenters and Homosexual entertainers caught holding one in Hello magazine but do you really want them to go that way?
     
  11. tank_rider

    tank_rider New Member

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    I'd definitely buy a low powered, 7" screen, cheap tablet, so long as it has a decent browser and mail client. Something sub £100 that can be used around the house and in wifi areas. So long as the performance is good for it's designed purpose, I'm getting fed up of underpowered smart phones that can't quite keep up with normal browsing habits and can't display quite enough info due to the smaller screens.
     
  12. pendragon

    pendragon I pickle they

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    loved the article, thanks Bit-Tech ... Glad to hear Via is still alive :)
     
  13. Saivert

    Saivert New Member

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    those who really care about home automation already has it. There are loads of off the shelf products out there that facilitate this when connected together appropriately.
    * Relay boards that can be controlled over the network
    * Sensors
    * Cheap programmable circuits
    etc..

    Also mini ITX and those things are really for the enthusiasts. They are not cheap for sure because it is manufactured in small runs. I'm not going to waste money on it just to play around with it.
     
  14. Cthippo

    Cthippo Can't mod my way out of a paper bag

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    Here's one of those 7" tablets on eBay...

    $109.98 with shipping. Not bad, if you're into that sort of thing.
     
  15. Xir

    Xir Well-Known Member

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    If your power company would mess with your frige / heating / aircon - settings, would you connect this device to the net? AND pay for it? No?
    Another example of what companies think of as a benefit of home automation...but what customers don't care about.
    That's why it never took off, the company ideas don't fit the consumers whiches :sigh:
     
  16. l3v1ck

    l3v1ck Fueling the world, one oil well at a time.

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    The next step is a system on a chip based around Nano, with you and USB3. Or at least it should be.
     
  17. Guest-16

    Guest-16 Guest

    That one is pretty shitty though I've read. Many of them run Android 1.6 which is naff. I've contacted a Chinese company who makes 1GHz machines w/2.1 to see if I can get a review sample. I've been looking around today and there might be some much better ones out there, but it's difficult because the pictures are so poor on their websites. Hopefully I can get a review sample.
     
  18. Byron C

    Byron C *psst!* This guy is a loser!

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    There are many, *many* small form factor and interesting devices being produced or sold in China, but I'm always wary of putting my money down as you can never be sure what you're going to get. Such as the aforementioned tablet; there's no indication that it only runs 1.6, there's no info on whether it can be upgraded to 2.2 or even 2.1, no manufacturer or model number for me to do more research, etc... Manufacturer pages are either non-existent, difficult to find or only in Chinese. When you do actually manage to find more info, it's usually written in badly-translated Engrish.

    It would therefore be very interesting to see a hands-on with devices like these, so well done for moving out to the far East! :thumb:
     
  19. Splynncryth

    Splynncryth 0x665E3FF6,0x46CC,...

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    ROFL
    In this case, I think it was Intel's platform focus that hurt them. They figured they had the platform, they'd just swap out the CPU and save on the cost of validating an whole new platform. There were other options they could have gone with, but Intel is a weird place sometimes.

    Intel made a thrust at that space a little while back, but it was a mobile platform being handled by their embedded group. I wouldn't be surprised to see an Atom product there before too long.

    I could go on about the things I have seen from the Intel embedded group, but it's not relevant to this article (but I would still like to see what Bit might do with an Osage CRB if given the chance).

    As for my guess as to what Via could do, I'd love to be able to cut the power used by my computers. Home automation is not a big deal to me. What is is the ability to get at my home network remotely and manage it. I know this is typically the domain of the enterprise. And that's where I have learned to apply it to my home. I picked up some old gear ages ago. A system I am still trying to place had a remote management card that let me power the system up when it was off, and had full out of band management including remote KVM. This let me run the server from anywhere I had internet through a simple web interface. I could then use that system to manage others on my network. If I could get smaller low power systems that I could work with in a similar fashion, I'd do it. I used to cue up shows before I left work so they'd be ready when I got home, find that vacation picture that wasn't on a web service and I wanted to show off, or other things like that.
     
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