The Raspberry Pi had been in the news for having been one of the cheapest integrated solutions. It’s a boon for those who like to do DIY projects and/or those who want to set-up a cheap, compact PC. VIA is a company that’s been known in the past for making PC components, primarily motherboard chipsets. After a long hiatus, VIA is now back and they’re targeting the Raspberry Pi with their APC, also being called the Android PC System. The official site states the product's price to be $49. The Raspberry Pi, on the other hand sells for $25, while the high-end model sells for $35.
Based on the Neo-ITX form factor
The VIA APC’s technical model number is APC 8750 and it runs an 800MHz processor. There’s also 512 MB of DDR3 memory as well as 2GB of NAND Flash memory. There’s a built-in 3D graphics accelerator that can render videos upto 720p. HDMI connectivity as well as D-Sub output ports are present, along with a microSD card slot. Four USB ports are available, so you can connect external storage drives to it. There’s no Wi-Fi support, but there is 100Mbps Ethernet. The entire board is based on the Neo-ITX standard. The product isn’t available in the market yet, but VIA plans to start selling the devices as early as July 2012. Those interested can pre-order the device by entering their e-mail address on their site.
The APC uses the Wondermedia Prizm WM8750 chip
VIA’s APC is a bit larger than the Raspberry Pi and it’s also a tad more expensive. However, it has a bit more power – a faster processor and more memory. The product should be based on the ARM architecture which means it should be versatile. VIA also mentions the use of the Android 2.3 operating system. We’re assuming that Linux distribution developers will try and bring out Linux flavours designed specifically for the VIA APC, just as they have for the Raspberry Pi, which already has Debian and Fedora being developed for it.