The Raspberry Pi has been in the news for being one of the cheapest integrated solutions and it’s been out awhile now. Shipments are moving and customers are receiving their Pi. 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, a PC component manufacturer of yesterday recently announced their Raspberry Pi competitor with their APC product, also being called the Android PC System. The product was said to sell at $49. The Raspberry Pi is a popular product and there has been a lot of demand for it. Even though the VIA APC is a slightly more expensive product, there’s an incredible amount of demand for it as well. In fact, all of the pre-order pieces seem to have been sold out.
The APC uses the Wondermedia Prizm WM8750 chip
The post was made on the APC site – it read “Last night at 10:30pmTaiwantime (GMT+8) we began to accept pre-orders of APC. Those who had registered to be notified were given the first opportunity to place orders, which were limited to a maximum of 2 units. Due to the staggering demand we sold out in just a few hours.” Shipping of the APC is expected to start in early July.
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 100 Mbps Ethernet. The entire board is based on the Neo-ITX standard.
Not as compact as the Pi, but still small
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.
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