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Intel Hardware

Intel Puts a PC Into an SD Card-Sized Casing 219

Posted by Soulskill
from the just-small-enough-to-fit-inside-your-eye dept.
New submitter mpicpp points out that Intel has unveiled a PC called Edison, which fits into a casing the size of an SD card. "Edison is based on Intel’s Quark chip, which it launched last year as its attempt to muscle in on that other flavour-of-the-month market: the so-called Internet of Things. It also reflects the company’s new-found keenness on the 'maker' community. Quark, a 22nm low-power x86 processor with two cores, sits inside Intel’s Arduino-compatible Raspberry Pi-alike Galileo board computer. Edison takes the same chip, connects it to a wee bit of LPDDR2 memory and Flash storage, and plugs in Bluetooth 4.0 Smart — aka LE — and Wi-Fi for broader connectivity."
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Intel Puts a PC Into an SD Card-Sized Casing

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  • Strange form factor (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Ksevio (865461) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @03:53PM (#45891471) Homepage
    The choice of an SD card seems like a strange form factor. As far as I've seen, they're only useful as storage devices. I guess you could put some cloud interface or image processing in it, but it doesn't look like a good choice for a raspberrypi replacement as it'd be difficult to attach anything to it.
  • by FreeUser (11483) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @03:55PM (#45891499)

    These particular devices are not meant for human interfacing or running a UI, but for the Internet of Things(really hate that name) and ubiquitous computing.

    I share your loathing for that name. The fact is, these are intended for ubiquitious governance, where everything from a baby rattle to your keychain is a governance device designed to monitor, track, and someday soon record your every action and movement.

    The price at which we'll all be willing to sell out to this level of surveillance and control? The convinience of being able to find our car keys whenever we lose them, and monitor our babies without a baby monitor. Do it for the children, and to protect yourself from terrorists! Welcome to the future, where we are all chattel of the state, and there is no getting away.

  • Other applications (Score:4, Interesting)

    by istartedi (132515) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @04:09PM (#45891641) Journal

    I don't want to wear my computer or put my fridge on line. OTOH, it will be really interesting when tomorrow's geeks are able to play with entire computers on a breadboard the way we played with resistors, transistors, etc. when I was a kid.

    I keep picturing a little plastic baggy full of x86-based systems, $4.99/doz at RadioShack if they're still in business...

  • Cloud Storage (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @04:14PM (#45891703)

    SDXC supports up to 2TB of storage. With Edison, that storage doesn't have to actually be in the card. Any device that can read SDXC cards could transparently access up to 2TB of cloud storage.

  • by gnoshi (314933) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @04:18PM (#45891741)

    Having a sub-computer separated from the main system could be very useful for when you want to be able to perform operations without some of the data required to perform them being on the host machine. The main example I can think of for that would be password management or encryption, where you don't necessarily want either your password database or your encryption keys on the host computer but you want to be able to easily retrieve passwords or perform encryption.

    If you really wanted to, then you could use a trusted connection over the Bluetooth to require a phone to approve/deny encryption operations and/or password requests. That way, a bad app on your computer couldn't steal all your passwords without you knowing.

    Of course, this particular computer is not going to be powerful enough to perform encryption/decryption but it is an interesting direction.

  • by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @04:30PM (#45891873)

    You're missing the point.

    They finally got the size right.
    Next they need to get the price in the under $20 range...
    Power consumption low enough that it can be powered off either ambient wifi, solar, heat exchanger... something small...

    THEN the revolution will come.

  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @04:48PM (#45892077) Journal

    Did that i7 just have no cooling at all, was overclocked, or did you disable all the safeties somehow? Even the old pentium mobiles would throttle down and eventually just shut down if they got too hot - saving its own life and a world of hurt for the owner.

    It was a Samsung RC-512... it had c(sorta adequate) cooling and SpeedStep enabled, and no overclocking, but over time (around 8 months) I was forced to set processor affinity for the high-end render apps down to just half the cores, lest it just kick out and shut down the laptop.

  • by rhsanborn (773855) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @04:56PM (#45892141)
    It's more than that, and it's silly little things we haven't thought about. Granted, we can do some of this already, but I had a use case this last week. I have a really hard time getting up in the morning when it's dark out. They make sunrise alarm clocks, but I think it would be nice to have the bedroom lights slowly dim up to simulate a sunrise and gently wake me up. (This is possible with current home automation tech)

    It might be nice to have a light sensor in my gutters that warns me if a downspout is clogged or they need cleaning before my annual fall cleanup. I have a whole house humidifier and when it gets to -10 like this week, it needs to be turned down or I get condensation on the windows. Smart things can do that for me. These are all things that ubiquitous computing can do, and that's pretty cool.
  • by Penguinisto (415985) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @04:56PM (#45892143) Journal

    Think about things around your house and then imagine if they were connected.

    I did - in 1999, when Sun was pushing their Jini framework [wikipedia.org] up at the University of Utah. They even had this cute little video of what an Internet-connected house looked and acted like.

    I got to ask the first question in their Q&A session. I asked them how the setup would prevent me from, say, breaking into their home network, locking their freezer defrost on permanently, keep the doors permanently unlocked in spite of saying they're locked, lock their televisions on 24/7 and to only porn channels, turn on the A/C full-blast during wintertime (or the heater during summer) - oh, or make all the bedroom lights come on and off randomly at 1-2 minute intervals throughout the night.

    They mumbled something about "we're working on security" and gave me a mug. Every question after that from everyone else only got worse from there.

  • by psergiu (67614) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @05:45PM (#45892639)

    Something like this is already implemented on HP's PA-RISC and (later Itanium) servers since last century. Go onto the system console, type Ctrl+B and you have access to a small computer completely separate from the main OS and CPU, running diagnostic software which has "probes" on all the hardware buses and components. On the newer servers you can use-it to power on and off various parts of the server, and to enable or disable various busses and connections, allowing you to electrically partition a single server in multiple ones (CPU board 0 + I/O board 0 = 1st server, CPU board 1 + I/O board 1 = 2nd one ...) power them on and access their consoles. Like some kind of VMWare implemented in hardware.

  • by kylemonger (686302) on Tuesday January 07, 2014 @06:25PM (#45892985)

    Instead of having computers in everything, I'd rather have robot that checked the milk and all that. What we're really all hankering for are slaves^H^H^H^H^H^H robots shaped like human beings, that we don't have to feel sorry about exploiting. They'll do all the things we don't want to do and won't require everything in the house to have a battery in it. I'd much rather deal with a single robot than worry that every appliance in my home has a brain and its own agenda.

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