[CES 2017] Inside the Intel Compute Card, a credit-card sized compute platform

CES2017 Intel Compute Card
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The concept of a modular compute platform isn’t entirely new. But wait, what if it’s credit card sized? That’s exactly what Intel has announced today at CES 2017 – the Intel Compute Card.

Intel has been a key enabler in delivering technology that powers the Internet of Things. The basis of the new compute card is to transform the way compute and connectivity can be used in future devices.

So, wait. It’s an entire computer within its credit card-sized form factor? Does it work like the Intel Compute Stick. Well, yes and no.

Speaking to Intel’s Bruce Patterson and Alan Clampett, they explained that the Intel Compute Card is indeed a full computer underneath.

It includes an Intel SoC, memory, storage and wireless connectivity with various I/O options. Connection for devices are done via an Intel Compute Card slot, with a standard connector i.e. USB-C.

It’s tiny, measuring just 94.5 x 55 x 5mm.

Unlike the Intel Compute Stick that has a HDMI interface, the Intel Compute Card works in a different way.

The idea is that hardware manufacturers can use the Compute Card and optimize it for myriad applications – be it smart refrigerators and smart kiosks, to security cameras and IoT gateways.

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Think of the Intel Compute Card as a platform or infrastructure if you will. Device makers can integrate a standard Intel Compute Card slot into their device, and use a suitable Intel Compute Card based on their requirements.

For instance, you may not need to buy a new smart fridge whenever new technology is introduced. Just plug in an ‘upgrade’ in the form of an Intel Compute Card. Also, it makes for easy hardware replacement – just swap out the existing card for a new one.

The platform reduces time and effort, and helps speed up innovation across a plentitude of devices.

Intel said that it’s working with a wide range of partners to productize solutions in the near future. These partners are working closely with Intel to develop products that can take advantage of the simplified design, ease of serviceability and user upgradeability of the Intel Compute Card.

Leading global partners like Dell, HP, Lenovo and Sharp are already on board. Additionally, regional partners like Seneca Data, InFocus, DTx, TabletKiosk and Pasuntech are looking to bring unique solutions to their respective markets as well.

The Intel Compute Card will be available in mid-2017, and will come in a range of processor options, including the latest 7th Gen Intel Core “Kaby Lake” processor.

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For more information on the Intel Compute Card, head over to www.intel.com/ComputeCard.

More updates on CES 2017 at vernonchan.com/tag/ces2017.

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