Home Page

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A computer in your wallet? Credit card sized PCs are coming up soon

As I have stated before, I am a huge techie and I want to keep our readers informed of the latest advancements on the technology front. I'm sure many of you are aware of the popularity of netbooks, I have several at home including one that's been hackintoshed (I will get into that another time)and the following story details what's on the horizon for ultra compact PCs.

By Kit Eaton, Fast Company

I've suggested several times that in the near future computers will penetrate nearly every aspect of your daily life: After all, netbooks are relatively new tech and they're small enough to slip into a purse or (large) pocket, in the case of the Vaio P. But with an invention from Toradex, the computers-everywhere idea gets a huge boost: The company managed to squeeze most of the guts of a netbook down to a truly tiny credit-card size.

Two tiny Toradex motherboards have just been unveiled: the Robin Z510 and Z530. As their name suggests, each sports a different version of the Intel processor that's largely driven the netbook revolution: the Atom. In this case, a 1.1GHz Atom Z510 or 1.6GHz Z530 is married to a circuit board just 84mm by 55mm. The board supports up to seven USB 2.0 ports; has embedded gigabit Ethernet, PCIe and SATA connections, 512MB of built-in RAM and a microSD slot; and outputs VGA video, TV-out and HD-audio.

Obviously you don't need to connect all of these to form a full computer, and with the addition of a small battery pack (possible thanks to the Robin Z510's tiny power consumption of just 3.5 to 5 watts), a complete PC package could easily be fashioned into a smaller-than-palm-sized unit. Imagine a next-gen electronic book that's much more capable than just a text-display system thanks to a tiny embedded Atom motherboard, or a digital photo frame with one inside that also lets you play games and download and watch movies.

Combined with equally small systems such as the plug computer and other tech like intelligent clothing, truly ubiquitous computer power -- far removed from the idea of a "PC in a box" -- is now a whole step nearer. Just one important question remains: Would you run Linux or Windows on your smart-system, Wi-Fi-embedded, digital color display ski jacket?

Posted by Mr. Starks

No comments: