Showing that Intel's dismissive attitude towards it and ARM doesn't really matter, VIA Technologies has introduced the arguably smallest quad-core x86 system ever designed: VIA ARTiGO A1250.
The VIA ARTiGO A1250 is about as large as one of those old mobile phones that barely anyone uses these days.
For that matter, smartphones are thinner and smaller than it is, but not by a large margin.
Basically, the new PC is as large as a deck of playing cards, a size which belies its performance, to say the least.
Thanks to the 1.0 GHz VIA quad-core central processing unit and the VIA VX11H MSP (media system processor), all sorts of media can be played, up to and including stereoscopic 3D.
Thus, the ARTiGO A1250 can act as a standard PC or home server, maybe even as a means to turn an HDTV into a Smart TV, provided the display has a VESA mount at the back, where the PC can be placed.
Hotels might buy a few of these units for management purposes too, while digital signage and surveillance applications could benefit just as much. Home automation is yet another potential venue.
"By leveraging the ultra compact Pico-ITX form factor, the VIA ARTiGO A1250 is able to deliver a powerful x86 quad core computing experience in the smallest system design on the market," said Epan Wu, head of the VIA embedded platform division, VIA Technologies, Inc.
"The VIA ARTiGO A1250 boasts the latest technology with 3D stereoscopic display and USB 3.0 support for an unparalleled ultra compact computing experience, making small truly beautiful."
The power draw of the new system is 32W, which is much less than a normal light bulb, despite the presence of one 2.5" SATA HDD or Flash SSD, up to 8 GB RAM and a bunch of ports (VGA, 2 x USB 3.0, Gigabit LAN, audio/mic).
Finally, as a bonus, VIA provides customers with Windows Embedded Standard 7 (WES), WES2009 & Linux operating systems, plus third-party software security.