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 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
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.