Nano ITX form factor

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This press release came to my attention today announcing the availability of boards using the Nano-ITX form factor later this year. Wow, these things are 12cmx12cm, or about 4.5 inches square.

Setting aside for a moment the usual press-release noise about making dreams reality, this looks really promising for a lot of applications. These things will have enough power to be really useful either as appliances in their own right (think firewall, video encoder, data acquisition, VPN gateway, security system monitoring station) or as embedded control units in other appliances.

I can think of dozens of uses for a box like this just from the standpoint of being a network engineer. I have to give a lot of credit to VIA for making the Mini-ITX form factor a success even without the weight of Intel behind it. I think this will nicely complement the Mini-ITX offerings and give device designers a huge jumpstart on bringing interesting new products to market. Industrial designers can now embed a computer in a product in just about the same space as a cooling fan would take.

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