Pico-ITX

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Pico-ITX is a PC motherboard form factor announced by VIA Technologies in January 2007 and demonstrated later the same year at CeBIT. The formfactor was transferred over to SFF-SIG in 2008. The Pico-ITX form factor specifications call for the board to be 10 × 7.2 cm (3.9 × 2.8 in), which is half the area of Nano-ITX. The processor can be a VIA C7, a VIA Eden V4, a VIA Nano or any other that uses VIA's NanoBGA2 technology for speeds up to 1.5 GHz, with 128KB L1 & L2 caches. It uses DDR2 400/533 SO-DIMM memory, with support for up to 1GB. Video is supplied via AGP by VIA's UniChrome Pro II GPU with built-in MPEG-2, 4, and WMV9 decoding acceleration. The BIOS is a 4 or 8 Mbit Award BIOS.[1][2][3]

ITX motherboard form factor comparison


EPIA PX[edit]

Top view of the EPIA PX10000G, Rev B.
Bottom view of the EPIA PX10000G, Rev B.

PX10000G[edit]

The first motherboard that was produced in this form factor is called EPIA PX10000G. It is 10 × 7.2 cm (3.9 × 2.8 in) and 10 layers deep. The operating temperature range is from 0°C to about 50°C. The operating humidity level (relative and non-condensing) can be from 0% to about 95%. It uses a 1 GHz VIA C7-M processor, a VIA VX700 chip set, and is RoHS compliant.

It has onboard VGA video-out, VIA VT6106S 10/100 8P8C Ethernet, UDMA 33/66/100/133 44-pin PATA (1x), and SATA (1x) I/O. DVI and LVDS video-out, USB 2.0, COM, PS/2 Mouse & Keyboard, and HD[disambiguation needed] 5.1 channel audio (supplied by a VIA VT1708A chip) are supported through the usage of I/O pin headers and add-on modules/daughter cards.[2][3][4]

It has been demonstrated running Microsoft Windows XP and Windows Vista. Modern versions of major Linux distributions, including Fedora Core 6 and Ubuntu 7.10, will also run on it.[5] It is available as a single board, but also with a barebone, the Artigo, a small form-factor complete computer.

PX5000[edit]

This model is similar to the PX10000G, but uses the 500 MHz VIA Eden ULV CPU.

There are two versions of this model, the PX5000G, which has an active (fan-assisted) heatsink, and the PX5000EG, which has a passive (fanless) heatsink.

Add-on modules[edit]

(Note: Either the VIA PX-O add-on module or 4 USB 2.0 I/O are supplied in retail packages.)

The VIA PX-O daughtercard supplies access to:

  • 1 RCA-out for S/PDIF usage
  • 4 USB 2.0 ports
  • 1 3.5mm Mic-in, 1 3.5mm line-out, 1 3.5mm line-in
  • 1 buzzer/speaker
  • 1 CN9 connector (function TBC)
  • 1 CN10 connector (function TBC).[6]

The VIA VT1625M daughtercard supplies access to:

  • 1 external TV-out
  • 1 video capture port.[3]

The Serener PXFPIO (also labeled under VIA PX-DIO) is 109mm × 22mm in size and connects via a 120mm ribbon cable through a daughter card. This addon may require modification to the heatsink due to the size of the daughter card. It supplies access to:

  • power & reset switches
  • 3.5mm audio in/out
  • S/PDIF-in
  • power & HDD activity LEDs
  • 4 USB 2.0 ports [7][8]

The VIA PX-TC daughter card, compatible with the PX10000G only, is designed to enhance the multimedia capture and output. It supplies access to:

  • 1 S-Video port
  • 1 video-in port
  • 1 YPbPr port
  • 1 S/PDIF-out [9]

EPIA-P700[edit]

The second motherboard series in this form factor, the P700 series improves upon the PX10000G series by offering a Gigabit Ethernet (Using the VIA VT6122 chipset) or a 10/100 Ethernet adapter (VIA VT6107) as a manufacturing option, integrating the power adapter (allowing for direct +12V DC-In & enabling it to directly power SATA), and making the Ethernet & VGA ports optional via the P700-A daughter card.

Expanded functionality is offered via the following pin I/O:

  • 1 LAN
  • 1 VGA/DVI
  • 1 COM Port
  • 1 Audio pin connector for Line-out, Line-in, MIC-in
  • 1 Front panel
  • 4 USB 2.0
  • 1 PS2 mouse/keyboard
  • 1 LVDS
  • 1 LPC/SM Bus/GPIO (Unusable due to VIA not releasing a GPIO driver)

The EPIA-P700-10L has a 1 GHz VIA C7 CPU.

The EPIA-P700-05LE has a 500 MHz VIA Eden ULV CPU and has a passive heatsink.

Add-on modules[edit]

The P700 comes retail with the P700-A & P700-B daughter cards.[10]

The P700-A supplies:

  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 1 VGA port
  • 1 COM port
  • DVI port via I/O cable

The P700-B supplies:

  • 4 USB 2.0 ports
  • 1 Buzzer
  • 1 Line-out, 1 Line-in, 1 MIC-in (3.5 mm)[11][12]

Intel-based products[edit]

Even though the form factor was introduced by VIA Technologies, there are also boards available based on Intel processors. Some have the CPU and the chipset directly on the Pico-ITX board. Other boards, like the Toradex Daisy, allow the addition of Nano COM Express modules.[13]

ARM-based products[edit]

Pico-ITX boards are also available with ARM architecture. In this field DH electronics uses the standardized DHCOM Computer On Modules with several ARM based modules.

Pico-ITXe[edit]

The Pico-ITXe specification adds onto the Pico-ITX form factor by taking the EPIA-P700 and upgrading the chipset to a VX800, doubling the maximum RAM to 2 GB, allowing for 667/533 SO-DIMM RAM, upgrading the GPU to VIA's Chrome9 HC3, and adding support for SUMIT. Another notable addition is the expansion from 10 to 12 layers thickness.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]