With Intel's next generation Atom platform - codenamed Pineview - announced today, ECS is already designing a tiny one litre, passively cooled full PC based on it.
Pineview has integrated two Intel Atom cores with a DDR2 northbridge and integrated graphics on a single die, forgoing the older three chip approach for just CPU and southbridge affording a much more power efficient solution (which could also potentially lead to the end of Nvidia's Ion platform).
The new ECS miniature box offers DVI, VGA, four USB 2.0, two channel audio (both front and back) as well as an SD slot, 802.11 wireless (although ECS is yet to decide whether to opt for g or n) and Gigabit Ethernet.
While the edges are plastic, the whole central portion is a large metal plate for heat dissipation, actually giving it some considerable weight for its size. As this is a very early mockup, ECS is still undecided whether it should have the option of a VESA mount in addition to the stand shown. It's certainly thinner than an Asus Eee Box, but as yet, lacks the kind of stylish stand to make it a desktop show-piece.
No word yet on performance, but ECS suggested Intel will phase out the dual core Atom 330 in exchange for Pineview, which should boast a performance increase thanks to its much lower memory latency and it will come in at not much more than the current solution where price is concerned.
With DVI included at the CPU (chipset) level it should get Windows 7 WHQL certification, but we were not told the performance yet - the boxes shown to us were non-working mockups.
Fancy a tiny Pineview nettop? Let us know your thoughts in the forums