Intel to release computers as small as USB thumb drives next year

Intel will release amazingly small computers next year that can be plugged into TV's and monitors.

@paulyalcorn
Published Tue, Nov 25 2014 1:19 PM CST   |   Updated Tue, Nov 3 2020 12:13 PM CST

Intel is planning to release diminutive thumb-sized computers next year. These Small PC's are fanless designs that are roughly the size of a USB thumb drive, and Intel actually demonstrated one of the devices at their recent investor conference. Intel didn't speak to the actual performance of the unit, but we do know that some Atom processors are small enough to fit into such devices.

Intel to release computers as small as USB thumb drives next year | TweakTown.com

The market for these small computers is actually in the tens of millions of devices per year, and there are already competing designs on the market featuring ARM processors and the Android operating system. By expanding x86 computing ability into this small form factor it opens up new potential use-cases. This class of tiny compute devices rarely have much storage, if any at all, onboard. Intel might be planning on integrating their new 3D NAND, which can pack up to 1TB of storage into a 2mm package, into the new devices. This would provide Intel a massive advantage over competing devices.

Intel did reveal they can be plugged into smart TV's and monitors and provide an instant computing solution. This may foreshadow Intel trying to penetrate into devices such as Amazon's Fire TV stick and Google Chromecast designs.

The quest for benchmark world records led Paul further and further down the overclocking rabbit hole. SSDs and RAID controllers were a big part of that equation, allowing him to push performance to the bleeding edge. Finding the fastest and most extreme storage solutions led to experience with a myriad of high-end enterprise devices. Soon testing SSDs and Enterprise RAID controllers at the limits of their performance became Paul's real passion, one that is carried out through writing articles and reviews.

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