Chipmaker Via Debuts ARM-based Android Hardware And Software Platform
July 2, 2013 by Dave Haynes
Taiwanese chipmaker Via has sent a note over to say it is now marketing a digital signage platform and solutions based both on the ARM and more conventional x86 PC processors.
The company has also developed a VIA Embedded Digital Signage ISV Program (ISV = Independent Software Vendor) that encourages software companies to develop to its devices, using an ARM-based system development kit focused on Android.
Toronto’s Capital Networks, one of the first mainstream companies to go Android, is already an ISV partner.
Via’s ALTA DS System has an ARM Cortex-A9 System on Chip, with hardware acceleration for video, HDMI and VGA (optional) ports, 4 USBs, one Ethernet, 4GB eMMC flash memory onboard (expandable to 16GB), 1GB DDR3 SD RAM and auto powers on when plugged in.
The company has its own software now called Magic Box and MagicView, described as an “advanced digital signage solution developed by VIA Technologies in collaboration with S3 Graphics comprised of a VIA embedded system and content management software called MagicView. In comparison with other digital signage solutions on the current market which require high-performance CPU capability which lead to high costs to build up systems, VIA Magic Box supports hardware decoding acceleration technology and enhanced HD video playback of the most demanding HD video formats, including, WMV9, VC1 and H.264 at screen resolutions of up to 1080p.”
There are server and standalone versions of MagicView, which is touted as a “powerful and flexible content management platform for designing, distributing and displaying digital signage.”
Via says the platform does the fundamental things like schedule management, client monitoring, reporting and secure networking, and can easily scale up to large distributed networks.
I did not know this. Via announced Magic Box last fall, but it skipped right past me. The company hasn’t made much noice about it, at least not direct in digital signage industry circles.
So now we have two chipmakers with software (Intel announced a solution a couple of weeks ago) and AMD nibbling around with some marketing and trade show appearances touting its capabilities in this space.