The idea of open-source hardware is slowly slowly but surely gaining traction. VIA Technologies, Inc., joined in on the fun today by unveiling an open source reference platform for low power notebooks, based on its own processor technology (obviously). The CAD files have been released under a Creative Commons license. The machine is tentatively named OpenBook.I know there are two things you want to know: specifications and imagery. Let’s start with a rundown of the specifications of the OpenBook, as provided by VIA.
Processor: 1.6GHz VIA C7-M ULV Processor
Chipset: VIA VX800 unified chipset
Memory: DDR2 SO-DIMM up to 2GB
HDD: 80GB Hard-Disk or above
LCD Panel: 8.9″ WVGA 1024X600 LED screen
Graphics: VIA Chrome9 HC3 DX9 3D engine with shared system memory up to 256MB
Video Decoding: MPEG-2, MPEG-4, VC1 and DiVX video decoding acceleration
Audio: Realtek HD Audio codec, 2 speakers
Networking: 10/100/1000 Mb/s Broadcom Giga NIC Ethernet Solution
Wireless: Broadcom 802.11b/g or GCT 802.16e
Webcam: 2.01 megapixel dual headed rotary CCD camera
Thickness: 36.2(H)mm (at battery)
Weight: Under 1kg
Operating System Support: Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista and all popular Linux distributions
Battery: 4 Cells, 2600ma
Options: USB interface DVD Dual RW
And what does the reference notebook look like when VIA builds one? Quite attractive, if you ask me.
As Richard Brown, Vice President of Corporate Marketing at VIA explains, in lovely marketing speak:
The VIA OpenBook builds on the great success of the VIA NanoBook reference design launched last year, which has been widely adopted by numerous customers around the world. Our unique open approach to case design customization and wireless connectivity flexibility, coupled with the higher levels of performance, further extends VIA’s leadership in the global mini-note market.
Brown also told the New York Times that he expects OpenBooks to cost somewhere between 500 and 800 USD.