Miniature computers can be used in many scenarios, and this is the main thing that VIA is banking on in its quest to promote the ARMTiGO small form factor ARM computer.
For consumers, things as large as HTPCs (home-theater personal computers) and even small desktops qualify as SFF systems (small form factor).
The term has a different meaning on the rest of the industry though. Small really does mean small when it comes to health care technology, digital signage, surveillance and other embedded applications.
VIA's latest ARM PC definitely qualifies as an SFF computer, and it should do fine in all of the above fields, as well as hotel automation.
In fact, according to VIA, this is the smallest embedded ARM system for embedded uses.
"VIA is leveraging its advanced SFF system design expertise demonstrated in its market leading x86 ARTiGO systems to create a new family of smaller, lower power ARM based systems," said Epan Wu, head of VIA embedded, VIA Technologies, Inc.
"The introduction of the ARM-based ARMTiGO A800 allows us to provide our customers with a comprehensive range of solutions in both leading processor architectures."
VIA ARMTiGO A800 measures 12.0 cm x 12.5 cm x 3.0 cm / 4.72 x 4.92 x 1.18 inches.
Its heart is a Freescale ARM Cortex-A8 SoC (system-on-chip device) with two Integrated GPUs.
The TDP (thermal design power) is only of 3.14W, which does not only ensure a very low power draw, but also removes the need for active cooling.
In fact, VIA managed to get away with just an ultra-low profile, dustproof, fanless design that easily fits into any environment thanks to its unobtrusive dark grey, rectangular case.
Client organizations can hide the system anywhere they wish, even behind a monitor, or just leave it on the wall for everyone to see, provided they have a VESA mount (7.5 cm x 7.5 cm / 2.95 x 2.95 inches).