Taiwanese chipset vendor Via Technologies Inc. is hawking a $49 PC system that runs Google Inc.'s Android operating system and is scheduled to start shipping in July.
Like the Raspberry Pi—the $25 single board computer developed in the UK—Via's APC Android PC System comes in the form of a motherboard that can be connected to a TV or monitor. The system also features a custom build of Android that has been optimized for keyboard and mouse input, and comes with a browser and a selection of preinstalled apps, according to a statement released by Via Tuesday (May 22).
APC is powered by an ARM11-based processor from WonderMedia, Via's low-cost processor subsidiary. The system integrates memory, storage and a full set of consumer I/O features in a small footprint Neo-ITX motherboard, according to Via.
The APC motherboard measures 17 centimeters by 8.5 centimeters and can be housed in any standard Mini-ITX or microATX chassis, Via said. The company is targeting the system at both do-it-yourself computer enthusiasts and OEMs looking to get their systems to market quickly.
"Like a bicycle for your mind, APC will enable more people than ever before to explore the vast online universe," said Richard Brown, vice president of marketing at Via, in a statement.
Via claims APC consumes only 4 watts when operating at idle power and 13.5 watts at maximum load—10 times less than a standard PC system. It also offers hardware acceleration for demanding video formats, according to Via.
Key features of the APC, as listed by Via: • Optimized Android OS • HD TV support • Hardware acceleration of the most demanding video formats • VGA and HDMI display ports • Four USB 2.0 ports • One microSD slot • One 10/100 Ethernet port • Audio-out/ Mic-in • VIA WonderMedia ARM 11 SoC • 2GB NAND Flash • 512 DDR3 SDRAM • 15W power adapter
Based on the ultra compact new Neo-ITX form factor, APC measures 17cm x 8.5cm.
At Maker Faire in San Mateo a week ago I saw a demo of Rasberry Pi running Ubuntu Linux with an HDTV display. It was running some HD video demo and the image quality was great. They claim it will run Myth TV. With a network file system this should make a great Entertainment/Media Center PC. I do not think anyone should expect it to function as a desktop PC replacement.
raspberry pii has half the ram and a slower arm11 core but a better gpu.
These small systems are nice but not completely up to desktop replacement yet.
They are great for low power network sensor systems or as a sensor integrator (rtu)/pac controller.
The ARM cortex A8 and 9 based ones are closer to being a desktop replacement but it'll take the next gen ones to get there.
Problem with most of these small systems is they still depend on proprietary binary globs for gpu and other drivers.
Next gen beagle or pandaboard with omap5 should do it.
"APC consumes only 4 watts when operating at idle power and 13.5 watts at maximum load—10 times less than a standard PC system." Is it an apple to apple comparison? It is difficult to believe a $25 Android computer can be as fast as a PC consuming 135W?
There is a typo, "VGA and HMDI display ports" shall read "VGA and HDMI display ports"
Is MS-office like office productivity suite available on Android?
What are the preloaded Apps ?
Is there at least a browser that gets you connected to the internet world?
Or is it just a piece of hardware like the P motherboard?
David Patterson, known for his pioneering research that led to RAID, clusters and more, is part of a team at UC Berkeley that recently made its RISC-V processor architecture an open source hardware offering. We talk with Patterson and one of his colleagues behind the effort about the opportunities they see, what new kinds of designs they hope to enable and what it means for today’s commercial processor giants such as Intel, ARM and Imagination Technologies.