VIA Launches Open Source Laptop Design

VIA OpenBook adds new features to its predecessor, the NanoBook reference design released last year by the Taipei, Taiwan-based chip maker, said Richard Brown, VP of corporate marketing. These include broadband wireless support and the richer multimedia capabilities of VIA's latest refresh of its Ultra Mobile Platform featuring its C7-M processor and new VX800 digital media IGP chipset, Brown said.

"Last year, we announced the VIA NanoBook reference design and that was really successful. We saw straight away that there was a need for customization after getting feedback from customers. The key was that we saw the market [for utra-mobile devices] growing faster than we or anyone ever anticipated," he said.

VIA is offering CAD files of the external panels of the OpenBook reference design for download under a Creative Commons license with the idea that OEMs, system builders and broadband service providers will tailor the look and feel of the sub-1kg clamshell form factor with 8.9" screen to their own customers' preferences.

The design also provides some options on high-speed broadband wireless connectivity, with customers able to select from various WiMAX HSDPA and EV-DO/W-CDMA modules as they see fit.

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