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Date: June 9th, 2003
Article by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner, Head Editor & Hardware Reviewer)
Product was donated by: Via Technologies.
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COMPANY PROFILE

The VIA Platform Solutions Division (VPSD) is an autonomous new business unit established by VIA. Its aim is to provide our customers with a complete set of innovative platform building blocks for building high quality, high performance servers, workstations, PCs, and Total Connectivity devices that meet the needs of all market segments.

VPSD products include both mainboards and reference system designs such as the Information PC and InformationStation. Based on VIA's industry-leading chipset technologies, they not only deliver the highest levels of performance and reliability, but also come with the most advanced features and technologies such as DDR266 SDRAM support. As a result, VPSD products help OEMs and System Integrators increase their competitiveness by speeding up product time to market and reducing validation cycles.

To ensure the highest levels of quality, reliability, and compatibility, VPSD products undergo stringent testing during both the design and manufacturing phases and are built using top quality components. Boards are subjected to an extensive battery of stringent thermal, emissions, stress, environmental, signal quality, and BIOS functionality and compatibility tests across a full range of operating system platforms before being released for production. Manufacturing is carried out using state of the art equipment, and rigorous QA and QC procedures are applied at all stages of the production process.

VPSD products are backed up by a full range of support services through the company's branches and service centres in Taiwan, Europe, and the USA. Distributors and SIs are provided with hot swap RMA, while technical support enquiries can be handled by phone hotline or email.


PRODUCT INTRODUCTION

In the past three or four years, motherboards have changed dramatically. They are faster, incorporate and support faster processors and peripherals, and lately pretty well include everything that a year ago would have to be installed as a separate add-on card such as ethernet, 6 channel sound and/or RAID support. But one noticeable fact that goes against everything that is the basis of technological advancement is the fact that motherboard manufacturers have stuck to same bulky ATX form factor. Isn't electronics supposed to make things smaller, faster and more efficient with increased capabilities? This by far has been one of my major pet peeves and I would really like to know what is holding these guys back from evolving. Is it the cost of retooling the production lines? It can't be the cost of material because that would be pretty well cut in half. To boil it down, in my opinion I think it comes down to money and the fact that companies don't want to retool their facilities. Too bad, in the long run it could save them some major money.

Going against the grain, Via has been pushing their new EPIA series of motherboards out onto the market and are getting a tremendous response. The motherboard, as you will see further on in this review, is so small that with some ingenuity, it can be pretty well be inserted or incorporated into anything slightly larger than itself to make a unique one-of-a-kind PC. So, grab your toaster/gas-can/toolbox/lunchbox/cat or anything you would like to make a computer out of because here comes the review of Via's latest EPIA Mini-itx offering, the m10000.

*Disclaimer: No cats were harmed in this review nor will any part of Tweaknews.net be responsible if an outside party hurts a feline by assimilating it into a computer.*

Heh, just had to get that in there ;).

 

 


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