is a video that was shot at the 2007 SEMA Show, the world's 'Premier Automotive Specialty product Event' - or for us laymen - the biggest car gadget love-in anywhere in the world. The video is all about Mp3car and VIA's involvement in the Car PC industry and in particular the new G4 from Mp3car, a powerful VIA C7-based multimedia Car PC that fits into the dashboard of your car.
This car PC uses a 1.5GHz VIA C7 processor, 512MB – 1GB of system memory, 6.5" LCD touch screen, high-def audio, a 40GB – 250GB hard drive, a DVD ROM, internal GPS module and Digital Multimedia Broadcasting (DMB) receiver and the first ever HD radio receiver. It takes up the space of 2 DINs, in other words double the space of your regular car CD player or radio. So what kind of man (or woman) needs a PC in his car?
While the car PC is still very much an enthusiast level purchase we have to bear in mind that cars have been using computers for more than a decade now, and that many high-end sports cars and SUVs today require a PC to simply keep the engine running smoothly. This is where having the PC on the dashboard can have its advantages. In many custom sports cars the PC can handle the running of engine and various other components of the car as well as in-drive entertainment and GPS etc.
And people want to be entertained. Just because you're on the road doesn't mean that we can't watch a DVD or surf the net, especially where we are talking about road trips with the family. Driving to music is not a new idea, but how’s about having high-def sound pump out your entire music collection, stored on the hard drive of your car PC? Hmmm...
While car PCs are a popular past time for hobbyists around the globe, the Infill PC is a complete solution that promises easy installation and ease of use. The touch screen lets you navigate around Windows XP and do everything you'd usually do, but there's also a custom application called StreetDeck
which is optimized to suit people with their hands on the wheel. With gesture recognition and simple, larger menus, StreetDeck would appear to make driving while using the PC reasonably safe.
The Infill G4 is an excellent example of what we at VIA are striving to achieve. Smaller devices and machines that use electricity sparingly and fit snuggly into our daily lives without using any cooling fans - making it more rugged and useful in situations like a moving vehicle. By developing systems that use less power and therefore create less heat, VIA is able to offer systems that run much cooler and can exist in some quite surprising places.
The car PC is only the beginning.