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Via opens up its mini-notebook design

Chip designer creates a mini-notebook reference design for notebook makers, providing the source files for download.

Chip designer Via Technologies unveiled its OpenBook Mini-Note reference design on Monday, in a move that throws some open source into its core business of developing chips for mobile devices.

The OpenBook design aims to aid PC makers in creating ultra-small notebooks based on Via's Ultra Mobility Platform. Last year, the company trotted out its Via NanoBook reference design, a prototype designed to compete against rivals in the small-computer market but at a lower cost.

"By making the CAD files of the external panels for the OpenBook available for download, Via has simplified design customization. You can now download these open-source files from the (Via) Web site and individualize the look and feel of your OpenBook devices," Via states.

Via, in providing the source files for download, aims to deliver local Wi-Fi, long-range WiMax, and speedy data delivery via 3G mobile connectivity.

With its Via OpenBook design, the Taiwanese company is hoping to ride potential growth in the mini-notebook market, which currently ranks in the small niche category. But as 3G becomes more pervasive and users become more adept using smaller devices to carryout computing and communications functions, demand for mini-notebooks may rise.