VIA Technologies announced late last month the release of a new Android-based digital signage system, the VIA ARM DS. According to VIA’s website, the VIA ARM DS is “an all-in-one system-ready solution designed to manage dynamic displays for “is an all-in-one system-ready solution for managing dynamic displays for cost-sensitive, high-volume segments where high performance video and connectivity are paramount for enhanced customer engagement.”
The VIA ARM DS is Energy Star-rated unit measuring just 18 x 12 x 2.5 centimeters in size. It sports impressive features such as the following:
- an industry-standard ARM Cortex A9 SoC
- hardware acceleration for improved video support of resolutions up to 1080p
- DVI-D display port
- optional HDMI support
- Four USB 2.0 ports
- One 10/10 Ethernet port
- Audio-out / Mic-in
- up to 4GB NAND flash
- up to 1GB DDR3 SDRAM
- ergonomic design
- worldwide software support
- Digital Content Management (DCM) software compatibility
The VIA ARM DS is targeted to support digital signage media from a variety of sources like USB, DVI, LAN and SDCard readers. It is ideal for use in the following applications:
- cloud computing
- digital out-of-home advertising
- menu boards
- POS systems
Although the unit is aimed mostly as hobbyists, VIA is also hoping to attract customers from the education, entertainment, hospitality, and retail sectors with the ARM DS by marketing it as an effective yet affordable digital signage solution.
While the majority of press coverage for the unit touts its Google Android support, the VIA ARM DS can also operate the Ubuntu operating system. Epan Wu, head of the VIA Embedded Platform Division, indicated that VIA fully supports third-party integration with the VIA ARM DS. Those interested in working with VIA in efforts to deliver solutions based upon the VIA ARM DS are encouraged to visit the VIA Embedded Digital Signage ISV program.
VIA Technologies is a Taiwan-based manufacturer of CPU, memory, and motherboard chipsets. Founded in 1987, it is the world’s largest independent motherboard chipset manufacturer.