Home > Hardware, Intel Atom, Linux, Video, Windows 8 > ICE xPC Modular x86 Computer Is as Small as a Smartphone (Crowdfunding)

ICE xPC Modular x86 Computer Is as Small as a Smartphone (Crowdfunding)

Until now, if we talked about mini PCs in stick form factor that always meant some ARM or MIPS processor were powering the devices. Intel is not yet into this type of form factor, but with ICE xPC (Indiegogo), you can now find an x86 computer module with the CPU, RAM, and SSD as well as connectivity modules and sensors into a box as small and thin as a smartphone. ICE xPC will also support other low power processors including Core i5 processor and/or ARM SoCs if the concept is gaining traction.
ICE_XPCICE xPC modular computer specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Bay Trail 4-cores Atom processor with Intel HD graphics
  • System Memory – 4GB RAM
  • Storage – 64 GB SSD
  • Connectivity – 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi module + Bluetooth module
  • Camera – 720p
  • Sensors – Accelerometer, Gyro sensor
  • Power Supply – 20 Watts. Energy used claimed: between 3 and 11 Watts.
  • Dimensions – 123.8 x 58.6 x 8.8 mm
  • Weight – About 100 grams

You can’t just use ICE xPC buy itself, as instead it’s a module, some sort of portable desktop computer, that you can currently plug into 4 different type of “carrier” systems:

  • xAdapter – mini PC / TV PC for home or office
  • xPad – 10.1″ IPS Mobile display / tablet for the road (1080p resolution)
  • xTop – mini desktop at the office with 4xUSB, HDMI, microphone and headphone jacks, Ethernet, .., optionally connected with an external USB hard drive (see pic)
  • xKeyboard – xPad cover keyboard / stand

ICE_xPC_Tablet_Desktop_LaptopThis modular system will allow you to upgrade either the processor / memory for your  tablet / laptop / desktop, or keep your current processor / memory module, and update the “carrier” systems.

The company will also provide an SDK for xPC open connector architecture to let developers create their own peripherals or accessories. The specs will be available later on on their ICE Development Blog.

The company focuses on Windows 7/8, but since it’s based on x86 there’s no reason it should not work with Linux. You watch the Indiegogo campaign introduction video below.

The cheapest pledge to get a working system is $259 with ICE xPC and xAdapter without OS. The same system with Windows 8 and Microsoft Office will cost $100 more (early bird). There’s no pledge to get xKeyboard or xTop except the most expensive one ($10,000). Shipping outside the US costs $30, and delivery is expected from July to September 2014 depending on the perks. Please note that this is a flexible campaign, so the company will get the funds regardless whether they reach the funding goal or not.

Thanks to CSilie for the tip.

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  1. Brian
    January 19th, 2014 at 20:47 | #1

    20W is a lot of power to dissipate in such a small form factor.

  2. January 19th, 2014 at 20:51 | #2

    @Brian
    Actually I’m not exactly sure if they used a 20W power adapter, or if the thing consumes up to 20W. Probably 20W power supply. I got it from the FAQ:
    “Q. How big is the xPC’s power source / adapter?

    A. The 20W power was provided through xPC connector.”

  3. Brian
    January 19th, 2014 at 21:37 | #3

    @cnxsoft

    Yes, I did some reading on the linked website, the Atom version has the CPU running at 2W, but the Core-i3 and Core-i5 versions run at 11.5W, which is still quite high. I hope this thing has a metal case, it will get very hot!

  4. Isigrim
    January 20th, 2014 at 00:46 | #4

    There is another interesting concept with AMD-Hardware:
    Tango-PC
    http://tangopc.com/
    Funding is running via indiegogo

    I don´t know, if those 25 Watt of the A6-5200 aren´t too much for the small case though.

  5. California Bob
    January 20th, 2014 at 02:47 | #5

    I really like things like this. Too bad this one doesn’t have a little display built into it. I think Android phones that let you spawn a display to your TV are a better approach, even though I prefer a Linux distro to Android for flexibility.

  6. Luke McCarthy
    January 20th, 2014 at 21:18 | #6

    @Brian

    It’s not clear which Bay Trail processor this is using but Bay Trail M has a TDP of 7.5W.

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