VIA Em-ITX Form Factor - The Art of Ultra-Slim Design

This document defines the Em-ITX form factor developed by VIA Technologies, Inc. Em-ITX is the first standard form factor specification to specify two I/O coastlines, making it ideally suited to the development of versatile, scalable, ultra-slim embedded devices. Ultra-slim system design brings several dedicated challenges — most are directly tied to the board selected, in terms of I/O availability and I/O accessibility. For I/O availability, the length of the I/O coastline can dictate how to configure the system, and whether a larger board or extending or stackable expansion boards are required, all of which has a direct impact on the size of the system. For I/O accessibility, the common use of pin-headers requires greater use of cabling inside the chassis, which in turn restricts airflow and requires more active system cooling and thus electricity to operate the system.

The open standard Em-ITX form factor offers embedded system developers clear advantages over competing form factors, allowing greater miniaturization and slimmer, more discrete devices without compromising on system I/O. Embedded system developers can also reap the financial rewards of having an off-theshelf solution for a wide range of ultra-slim applications. Where designers previously had to invest ample time and resources custom-designing boards that gave them necessary scope, Em-ITX is the ideal solution. Boards based on the Em-ITX form factor will facilitate faster-time-to market, with developers reaping the rewards of a standardized ultra-slim form factor that leverages VIAs expertise in producing full-featured, fully integrated, low-power processor platforms.

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