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Intel Puts a PC Into an SD Card-Sized Casing

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the just-small-enough-to-fit-inside-your-eye dept.

Intel 219

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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219 comments

So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or...? (2, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 7 months ago | (#45891331)

Okay, kidding. But it does bring up a small question: When can these things get up enough horsepower to allow my laptop more space for battery and disk?

(Also, how much can you cram into it before it overloads on the thermals? I can use LuxRender to destroy a full-blown i7 that way, so it's not like this is just a small CPU problem.)

I guess it's cute and all to make tiny computers, but I'm curious as to when this will translate into something usable on the 'bigger' end, e.g. laptops and servers.

Re:So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or.. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891371)

Yes it can. But the freaking monitor is so small that I can't see anything.

Re:So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or.. (4, Informative)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 7 months ago | (#45891383)

If you want bigger, go with the new Bay Trail Atoms. Intel is scaling up and down the spectrum, from HPC to embedded) 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.

More accurately, for ubiquitous governance (5, Interesting)

FreeUser (11483) | about 7 months ago | (#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.

Re:More accurately, for ubiquitous governance (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#45891601)

Ugh, yeah, I bought a "top 25 science fiction stories of [some recent year]" book, and one author had a world where that was a thing, and all the characters(in a poor eastern European city) referred to it as such.

It was so off putting, I almost didn't read the rest of the stories.

Re:More accurately, for ubiquitous governance (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891813)

I pull out my PENIS! I piss in yo face! Then I copulated with your mother. Hotdog in a hallway I tell ya.

Re:More accurately, for ubiquitous governance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891831)

What do you think $1T of money flowing to the NSA bought?

Lots of research into connecting everything.

Re:So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or.. (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 7 months ago | (#45891721)

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.

GreenArrays chips are meant for ubiquitous computing. Bay Trail is only meant for ubiquitous computing if you have a pretty restricted interpretation of what ubiquitous means.

Re:So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or.. (1)

schlachter (862210) | about 7 months ago | (#45891495)

so there will be a point where upgrading ur PC is equivalent to swapping out the SD card or two? probably makes sense to have a separate SD card for GPU.

cool.

Re:So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or.. (2)

Minwee (522556) | about 7 months ago | (#45891533)

We will just call them Isolinear chips [memory-alpha.org] by then.

Re:So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or.. (1)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | about 7 months ago | (#45891547)

When can these things get up enough horsepower to allow my laptop more space for battery and disk?

Convince the regular laptop makers to adopt pouch battery cells and you'll find there's already quite a bit more space available for battery. The 18650 type cells currently being used leave quite a bit of space even just inbetween themselves, not to mention all the dead space inside the housing where an 18650 simply cannot fit - but pouch cells would. That's what the thin laptops, tablets, etc. already use.

As for storage.. really? I've got a 2TB HDD, a 500GB SSD and another 160GB mSATA SSD in my laptop. Yes, it's a 17" model, but even if you just take a lowly chromebook you can easily fit 2TB. How much more do you need on active storage before it makes more sense to just plug in an external device?

I can use LuxRender to destroy a full-blown i7 that way

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.

Re:So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891999)

if you just take a lowly chromebook you can easily fit 2TB.

You're a know-nothing idiot.

Re:So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or.. (3, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 7 months ago | (#45892077)

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.

Re:So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891609)

Full framerates, yes, but only on a 1x1 resolution.

Re:So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or.. (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#45891649)

Okay, kidding. But it does bring up a small question: When can these things get up enough horsepower to allow my laptop more space for battery and disk?

(Also, how much can you cram into it before it overloads on the thermals? I can use LuxRender to destroy a full-blown i7 that way, so it's not like this is just a small CPU problem.)

I guess it's cute and all to make tiny computers, but I'm curious as to when this will translate into something usable on the 'bigger' end, e.g. laptops and servers.

Maybe if you put it in a Watch you can Overclock it.

I'll get me coat.

Re:So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891877)

Okay, kidding. But it does bring up a small question: When can these things get up enough horsepower to allow my laptop more space for battery and disk?

(Also, how much can you cram into it before it overloads on the thermals? I can use LuxRender to destroy a full-blown i7 that way, so it's not like this is just a small CPU problem.)

I guess it's cute and all to make tiny computers, but I'm curious as to when this will translate into something usable on the 'bigger' end, e.g. laptops and servers.

Maybe if you put it in a Watch you can Overclock it.

I'll get me coat.

You have a sad life of quiet desperation don't you?

You remind me of the old people who think the waitress wants to hear about their grandkids, the call center guy wants to idly chitchat, and the service clerk wants to be their friend. Nah. Come to think of it even those useless old people aren't THAT starved for attention.

Re:So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or.. (4, Insightful)

wiredlogic (135348) | about 7 months ago | (#45891687)

It has enough horsepower today. The Mac Classic got useful work done with a 8 Mhz clock. 400MHz computers from the late 90's were usable then just as well as today. You just need to use software that is designed to use resources efficiently which is more than doable with a stripped down X11 *NIX system.

Re:So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or.. (3, Insightful)

Larryish (1215510) | about 7 months ago | (#45892283)

True dat.

Got rid of my last Pentium III laptop last month, gave it to a woman who wanted her 4 year old kid to leave mommy's laptop alone :) It was my knocking-around-in-the-truck-don't-care-if-it-gets-stolen machine. Debian ran great on it, and as far as I know it still does.

The rest of my machines are various Pentium 4 and Pentium M boxes with the exception of a recently acquired dual-core laptop. Linux runs great on them, too. Only problem I have is USB, they don't have 2.0 onboard so I use cards.

Re:So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891695)

There's always someone like you that's gotta whine.

Re:So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or.. (1)

228e2 (934443) | about 7 months ago | (#45891757)

The application to normal laptops probably wasnt on their forefront rather than the ability to put stronger computer power in smaller (or new) places.

Which isnt to say its not translatable, but I immediately think of the applications in things such as medical devices, autos, and hand held devices that can better utilize this.

Re:So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or.. (4, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 7 months ago | (#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.

Re:So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or.. (1)

rogoshen1 (2922505) | about 7 months ago | (#45892167)

but will it be televised?

Re: So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or. (1)

Brian D Robinson (3489651) | about 7 months ago | (#45891891)

More than loudly it will be for embedded devices and housewares, like coffee pots or lights or wall outlets. Think about that. Think about things around your house and then imagine if they were connected.

Re: So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or. (4, Interesting)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 7 months ago | (#45892143)

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.

Re: So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45892327)

What's intriguing is that the situation has not changed much actually.
Many Internet of Everything advocates seem to focus on allowing chips with tiny RAM and microscopic resources.
So they can't do cryptography and it seems the topic is not really mentioned.
Which is a shame.
The same thing happened for NFC tags and the resulting system is so insecure that it's disabled by default in Android, not enabled when the phone is locked anyway.
That's kind of odd when you think that Smart cards have had the features for a while and it's just a matter of replacing connectors+WAN by radio+WAN...

Another Facebook Nigger! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45892255)

More than loudly it will be for embedded devices and housewares, like coffee pots or lights or wall outlets. Think about that. Think about things around your house and then imagine if they were connected.

EVEN BETTER: imagine if every last douchebag Facebook cunt like you fucked off and stayed in your own trendy little Facebook cesspool, wanking to each other's day to day minutia, keeping the marketers happy and fat, and fucking left Slashdot alone.

Re:So, can it play Crysis at full framerates, or.. (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 7 months ago | (#45892291)

Well considering its using the Quark chip which if its the same as on their Galileo board [theregister.co.uk] (seriously TFA is so light on details it might as well read "Hey we made a thing") then we are talking about a 400Mhz Pentium I here friend. With a chip THAT weak you simply aren't gonna be doing much with the thing....heck other than small embedded jobs I can't even think right off hand of any good jobs for a chip as weak as a P I. I was gonna say MP3 player but then realized most folks expect to be able to play video on their PMPs so that's out...hell I got nothing. What good is a 400Mhz Pentium I when for the same amount of juice you could have an ARM chip that would be able to do more work per watt?

so why would i want to wear a computer? (1)

alen (225700) | about 7 months ago | (#45891349)

still trying to find a use case outside the crazy data driven people and the attention starved 20 somethings who want to share everything

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | about 7 months ago | (#45891397)

You can now wire up a computer with a full comms stack to anything cheaply and trivially and you cant see how that could reshape computing?

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | about 7 months ago | (#45891445)

There are some interesting applications of everything being a computer (ie, security systems, the NEST thermostats and smoke detectors), but honestly there just doesn't seem to be a need for any and everything to have a computer attached to it.

Computers are amazing tools granted, but simply tacking one on doesn't always "improve" something.

Granted, I will say that I have enjoyed tinkering with my Raspberry Pi(s), but they mostly just serve as cheap XBMC boxes.

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (3, Funny)

JaiWing (469698) | about 7 months ago | (#45892027)

It's the new clock! remember when everything was made 'new' by slapping a digital clock on it?

'round we go again.

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (4, Interesting)

rhsanborn (773855) | about 7 months ago | (#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.

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (1)

geminidomino (614729) | about 7 months ago | (#45891449)

Considering this is intel we're talking about, allow me to express some doubts about "cheaply."

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (1)

alen (225700) | about 7 months ago | (#45891657)

so what would i do with a computer in my fridge, toaster, oven, AC, on my clothing, etc? all wired into the internet and open to hacking?
i still need to put the toast into the toaster to actually make the toast, although i'm sure some technofiends will put the toast in, walk away and use an app via wifi to start the toasting process

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | about 7 months ago | (#45891949)

so what would i do with a computer in my fridge, toaster, oven, AC, on my clothing, etc? all wired into the internet and open to hacking? i still need to put the toast into the toaster to actually make the toast, although i'm sure some technofiends will put the toast in, walk away and use an app via wifi to start the toasting process

Because one day (and it'll probably be pretty soon) you won't have to put in the toast yourself. The fridge will be able to tell you when the milk is expired, or if you need eggs (and you'll be able to look. And being able to turn on an oven on your way home after picking up, say, a take-n-bake pizza? I'd consider that useful.

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (2)

alen (225700) | about 7 months ago | (#45892139)

OMG, such an effort to wait the 15 minutes to preheat an oven. and how much are you going to pay in utility costs to have your oven on while you're commuting home? and how hard is it to notice that you only have say 2 eggs left.

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (2)

causality (777677) | about 7 months ago | (#45892313)

OMG, such an effort to wait the 15 minutes to preheat an oven. and how much are you going to pay in utility costs to have your oven on while you're commuting home? and how hard is it to notice that you only have say 2 eggs left.

I propose the following term for those who really want this: mental obesity.

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45892129)

It's going to "reshape" computing! The power! Wow! The future's looking awesome! My toilet can tweet my bowel movements! Just like the fathers of human augmentation wanted five decades ago!

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (1)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 7 months ago | (#45891423)

I can see medical uses for this. Imaging being able to monitor heart rate and other vitals 24/7. I had a father-in-law who could have used something like this...

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (1)

alen (225700) | about 7 months ago | (#45891461)

i can see real medical uses for this as well, but having this sold at retail will just fill up emergency rooms and doctor offices with hypochondriacs wondering why their heart rate is .0001% above last week's

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (2)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about 7 months ago | (#45891517)

Agreed. Technology progresses quickly. Society not so fast. In some ways this is good, but it does create face-palm moments.

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891707)

i can see real medical uses for this as well, but having this sold at retail will just fill up emergency rooms and doctor offices with hypochondriacs wondering why their heart rate is .0001% above last week's

Funny. It the world I live in, I had to explain to my doctor that the 1% change in my total cholesterol had more to do with the time of day my blood was taken than changes I'd made during the entire previous year. I've no idea why she focused on my total level, since the test listed HDL and LDL.

In the debate on giving patients more information, I don't agree with the doctors. I've had to diagnose the majority of my health problems (all later confirmed by the doctor), because most doctors don't take the time to ask the right questions. Without some research, I don't know that one of fifty different things happening to me is relevant.

I think my favorite time was when another doctor in an annoyed voice said, "Your self diagnosis is correct. You do have a hernia." I would have loved to been wrong about that one.

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (1)

alen (225700) | about 7 months ago | (#45891797)

i had the same thing but the point is the paper says you have a high cholesterol. if the doctor ignored it and you got very sick then in theory you can sue the doctor for malpractice for not taking the proper actions as defined in the physician's desk reference

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (1)

causality (777677) | about 7 months ago | (#45892335)

i can see real medical uses for this as well, but having this sold at retail will just fill up emergency rooms and doctor offices with hypochondriacs wondering why their heart rate is .0001% above last week's

Funny. It the world I live in, I had to explain to my doctor that the 1% change in my total cholesterol had more to do with the time of day my blood was taken than changes I'd made during the entire previous year. I've no idea why she focused on my total level, since the test listed HDL and LDL. In the debate on giving patients more information, I don't agree with the doctors. I've had to diagnose the majority of my health problems (all later confirmed by the doctor), because most doctors don't take the time to ask the right questions. Without some research, I don't know that one of fifty different things happening to me is relevant. I think my favorite time was when another doctor in an annoyed voice said, "Your self diagnosis is correct. You do have a hernia." I would have loved to been wrong about that one.

It sounds as though medicine is like everything else: you have a better experience when you take a little initiative and work _with_ the experts instead of being completely passive, waiting for someone else to do absolutely everything for you.

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (5, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | about 7 months ago | (#45891441)

I think there is a world market for maybe five wearable computers

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891979)

Sorry, I'm out of mod points.

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891551)

So the NSA can track your location and listen in on your conversation - and be less intrusive. It's a win-win!

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891637)

NSA Bingo!!! Be the first to call it when a douche makes a NSA offtopic reference! I'm up five just this afternoon!

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891947)

NSA Bingo!!! Be the first to call it when a douche makes a NSA offtopic reference! I'm up five just this afternoon!

Yeah I know just what you mean. It's as if some people don't want their government to get all creepy and spy on them for no reason. They act like that's important to them or something. Man, what a bunch of weirdos! Thank God you're so much better and smarter than them.

Re:so why would i want to wear a computer? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891921)

The main practical use cases would be managing collections of transient things.

For example:

A Smart refrigerator that monitors it's contents for their expiration date and can generate notifications to the effect of "Your milk will expire tomorrow", or which can be queried for an up to date inventory of it's current contents remotely.

An automated closet that can interrogate your clothing items for properties such as color, occasion, and season, and can generate an outfit for you based on today's weather forecast, or sort all your "red evening ware" to the front.

A smart bag that can alert you if you packed a gadget but not it's associated charger.

Imagine a beowulf cluster of these. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891353)

OK, I've had my fun now.

(I'm from the old days but my userid doesn't work anymore.)

Re:Imagine a beowulf cluster of these. (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 7 months ago | (#45891463)

I was thinking more of a swarm, actually.

Re:Imagine a beowulf cluster of these. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891631)

On the walk to work this morning, in my small burg, I was shocked to see a naked & petrified Natalie Portman covered in hot Edisons.

After seeing that, I don't look forward to these reaching mass-market. The danger of wearable electronics overheating is no laughing matter.

Oh, great. (4, Funny)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 7 months ago | (#45891401)

Now I can drop my entire computer down the heater vent.

you copied and pasted El Reg's mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891419)

Quark is one core, one thread. Not two cores.

Re:you copied and pasted El Reg's mistake (1)

JazzLad (935151) | about 7 months ago | (#45891489)

Second link: "The Intel Edison board features a low-power 22nm 400MHz Intel® Quark processor with two cores, integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth*, and much more."

INTEL ANNOUNCES NEW PROCESSOR FOR TRULY PC (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891443)

The only question that matters: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891455)

How much are they going to charge for it?

Strange form factor (4, Interesting)

Ksevio (865461) | about 7 months ago | (#45891471)

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.

Cloud Storage (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#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.

Re:Cloud Storage (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891769)

"cloud storage" is effectively infinite as far as wallets go. Why an arbitrary limit of a lowly 2TB, as in a bargain bucket HD?

Re:Cloud Storage (1)

fishybell (516991) | about 7 months ago | (#45892073)

"cloud storage" is effectively infinite as far as wallets go. Why an arbitrary limit of a lowly 2TB, as in a bargain bucket HD?

Because SDXC supports 2TB of storage. Until there is a standard for SD cards that supports more than 2TB, SD cards are limited to that.

The idea of having access to the full amount of storage (on say, an external drive connected via wifi) without having to wait for 2TB to fit on an SD card is, however, why there are already wireless storage arrays via SD and CF cards. This is probably the most complex way to maybe get that same level of functionality in other devices that support a the full size SD card, which very few consumer devices do. The move to microSD is almost complete in consumer land.

Re:Strange form factor (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891875)

an SD is just as appropriate unit of measure, as a football field

Re:Strange form factor (1)

jtownatpunk.net (245670) | about 7 months ago | (#45892081)

How much is that in Rhode Islands?

Re:Strange form factor (1)

DutchUncle (826473) | about 7 months ago | (#45892003)

It doesn't say "in an SD form factor". It says "the size of an SD card". Like "The size of a US quarter only not round." Or "the size of just about every microcomputer chip, like the STM32 on the board here on my desk."

Re:Strange form factor (1)

Timmmm (636430) | about 7 months ago | (#45892259)

RTFA. It's clearly in an SD form factor, or close to it.

This isn't without president. Here's an ARM Cortex M3 with wifi in an SD card form factor that also isn't actually compatible with any SD card readers:

https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11395 [sparkfun.com]

I agree it is weird and confusing though. I guess it avoids the development of a new case, and the technology for packaging chips in SD card cases is mature. Also people know how small they are so you don't have to have photos of them on peoples' fingers and whatnot.

Sockets (1)

xtal (49134) | about 7 months ago | (#45892069)

SD sockets are also readily available for this factor and mechanically robust. Handy if one, say, wanted to build a Beowu.. nevermind.

Re:Strange form factor (2)

amorsen (7485) | about 7 months ago | (#45892155)

It has probably been picked because all the tools are there already. Cases and connectors are easy to get, and Intel likely has lots of machines already capable of mounting things in that form factor.

PC Card used to be a moderately popular form factor for weird small computers for the same reason.

Already exists. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891475)

Turns out you can install linux on a transcend wifi SD card. [hackaday.com]

On a related note: Why am I not surprised that slashdot is months behind on this kind of thing and only report it when it becomes a slashvertisement?

"The Internet of Things" (2)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 7 months ago | (#45891479)

"it launched last year as its attempt to muscle in on that other flavour-of-the-month market: the so-called Internet of Things."

I had to specifically point out to the Wired.com journalist writing about my "Right To Serve" issue that he was putting the phrase "Internet of Things" into my mouth in his first draft article. The "Internet of Things" from what I can tell is the establishment dipping its toes into the wonderous waters of IPv6, but finding a way to do it without allowing the residential user to _profit in any way_ from their "internet of things". Because all profit shall be reserved for the establishment. Or so goes the party line.

http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/07/google-neutrality/ [wired.com]
http://cloudsession.com/dawg/downloads/misc/kag-draft-2k121024.pdf [cloudsession.com]
http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/07/google-we-can-ban-servers-on-fiber-without-violating-net-neutrality/ [arstechnica.com]
https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/08/google-fiber-continues-awful-isp-tradition-banning-servers [eff.org]
http://crossies.com/pissed.html [crossies.com]
http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2013/10/google-fiber-now-explicitly-permits-home-servers/ [arstechnica.com]
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/08/01/198327/googles-call-for-open-internet.html [mcclatchydc.com]

Re:"The Internet of Things" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891561)

Did you also kick him in the balls? I always try to find any excuse to do so, but it sounds like you had a reasonable case. Sometimes it works out quite well.

welcome to teh intarwebs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891867)

Your kids are hawt.
But your sister-wives are fat .

Yes, it DOES run Linux (5, Informative)

CajunArson (465943) | about 7 months ago | (#45891481)

Summary didn't mention it, but it does run Linux, and having access to standard Linux on a device this small is actually a very big deal. We're talking a physical/power profile that's down at high-end Arduino levels but with vastly more powerful software capabilities.

Re:Yes, it DOES run Linux (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45892121)

The Transcend Wi-Fi SD card already runs Linux.
It was launched in 2012...

The Internet of THINGS! (4, Funny)

boristdog (133725) | about 7 months ago | (#45891491)

Yes folks, soon you will have computers in EVERYTHING!

Is your coffee cup empty, or nearing empty? The Internet of THINGS will give you a coffee cup with wifi and sensors so you will get a tweet on your smartphone when you are almost finished with your coffee so you can plan to get up and get a new cup!

Is there coffee in the pot? The Internet of THINGS will have wifi and sensors in the coffee pot and let you know when it's time to make more!

Is there coffee in the can? You guessed it! The Internet of THINGS will let you know when you need to buy more coffee!

And this is just ONE (well, three) tiny example of how the Internet of THINGS will make your life easier!
Soon mankind will be freed from all the drudgery of having to look in their coffee cup, of not knowing if they will have to wait several minutes for coffee to brew, or even to have to shake the coffee can to find out if there is enough coffee for another pot.

FREEDOM!

Re:The Internet of THINGS! (1)

sootman (158191) | about 7 months ago | (#45891623)

You jest, but I'll be happy when I can know the status of every appliance, door, and window in my house from anywhere in the world, at any time. (Actual things I'm looking forward to: having the dryer ping me when it's done; making sure the front door is locked when I'm already in bed.)

Re:The Internet of THINGS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891751)

I'd wait a decade or two for the security implications to be sorted out.

We've had PCs for thirty years now and are security and privacy are getting worse, not better.

I'm in no rush to put the status of my fridge, doors, and lights on the internet. Manual controls work well enough and don't have the potential to turn my every possession into a security breach and/or tool of surveillance.

Re:The Internet of THINGS! (1)

alen (225700) | about 7 months ago | (#45891817)

so if someone breaks in and robs you while you are 3000 miles away, what are you going to do? take the next plane back?
in the old days people were friendly with neighbors who checked on their homes while they were gone

Re:The Internet of THINGS! (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#45892191)

Activate the tracing system so we know where everything is, call the police and let them know I've been robbed and ere is the location of my goods and then enjoy my vacation knowing I will get my stuff back and likely get the perpetrator.
After a while that will be so common place people won't bother to rob homes for most things.

Ah yes the old days fallacy. Give me a break.
In the scenario you have laid out I can call my neighbors, tell them I was robbed, and to double check there locks.

Re:The Internet of THINGS! (1)

boristdog (133725) | about 7 months ago | (#45892279)

Or, you know, just get a dog.

Re:The Internet of THINGS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45892339)

Activate the tracing system so we know where everything is, call the police and let them know I've been robbed and ere is the location of my goods and then enjoy my vacation knowing I will get my stuff back and likely get the perpetrator.

More like listen to the cops not giving a shit and telling you to file a home insurance claim instead.

Re:The Internet of THINGS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891833)

having the dryer ping me when it's done;

Depending on your situation, I suppose that could be useful. I tend to just be happy with a dryer that dries my clothes and then turns off by itself so I can deal with them at my convenience.

making sure the front door is locked when I'm already in bed

OCD aid! Ok, just kidding a bit, I know everyone has the occasional bout of doubt trying to remember if they fully locked up or turned off everything they need to turn off. Still, this would be great for those with heavy OCD. Each of your blue jackets will be able to inform you if they are in the wrong order (defined by MAC address of the on-coat computer) or if they are facing the wrong way in your closet, or if the coathanger is hooked to the bar the wrong way. It'll be a real time-saver for some.

Despite that, I doubt I will have any use for a LAN-able kitchen sink, and it'll take a really good argument to convince me that any appliances in my house should ever be internet-viewable (and internet-changeable is pretty far off the table for me).

Re:The Internet of THINGS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45892109)

You jest, but I'll be happy when I can know the status of every appliance, door, and window in my house from anywhere in the world, at any time. (Actual things I'm looking forward to: having the dryer ping me when it's done; making sure the front door is locked when I'm already in bed.)

Yes, soon you won't have to put the slightest thought or planning into anything. That's the American Wet Dream. It'll be great!

And it'll be so much fun when malware and botnets start targeting them. Script kiddies will get to decide things like how cold or hot your home is, whether your doors and windows are locked, whether your fridge shuts off and spoils all your food, and that's just the beginning! I am sure they can be more creative than that. Maybe they can even start electrical fires. Hey, who wouldn't want THAT? Anything to spare ourselves the inconvenience of remembering to do anything.

Re:The Internet of THINGS! (2)

edibobb (113989) | about 7 months ago | (#45891693)

No, when your cup is empty, you'll be shown an intrusive Starbucks video. The purpose of this technology is to make you a better ad target.

Re:The Internet of THINGS! (1)

mythosaz (572040) | about 7 months ago | (#45891901)

You already have computers in everything...

...it's the wireless that's new.

They might not all be fully featured x86 processors, but there's already a dozen computers in my kitchen and living room embedded in all of my major appliances - and some of the minor ones.

Re:The Internet of THINGS! (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 7 months ago | (#45892157)

IT will also know you have less coffee and when it gets to a threshold automatically add it to your grocery list on your phone.

Is there coffee in the coffee pot? the internet of things will check if you need the pot turned off becasue you are at work.

Being able to go through my day knowing my routine needs will be taken care of is pretty good to me.

Now if I should just say 'poop
  and have me poop moved to some sort of ice dimension.

Re:The Internet of THINGS! (1)

rhsanborn (773855) | about 7 months ago | (#45892177)

I'd love for the motion sensor in the hallway outside my door to correlate with my alarm clock and know that I just got up, and then kick on the coffee maker. Technology is supposed to make life easier, and this will help it do that.

Re:The Internet of THINGS! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45892223)

May I translate?

Is your coffee cup empty, or nearing empty? The Internet of THINGS will give you a coffee cup with wifi and sensors so you will get a tweet on twitter OMG LOL MY COFFEE CUP IS ALMOST EMPTY!

Is there coffee in the pot? The Internet of THINGS will have wifi and sensors in the coffee pot and let your followers know OMG MY SMOKING COFFEE POT IS ALMOST EMPTY!

Is there coffee in the can? You guessed it! The Internet of THINGS will let your friends know to BUY ME SOME FRIGGIN COFFEE PLEASE NOW!

And this is just ONE (well, three) tiny example of how the Internet of THINGS will make your live easier!
Soon mankind will be freed from all the drudgery of having to SEND STATUS MESSAGES THEMSELVES!

What could possibly go wrong?

Imagine a ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891529)

beowulf cluster bla bla bla fucking bla.

This is not the droid you are looking for (2)

rssrss (686344) | about 7 months ago | (#45891543)

This is as noted above is for embedded used. They also debuted a very small desk top:

"Smallness uber alles: Intel's tiny, Haswell-based NUC desktop reviewed: Diminutive desktop is a workstation, game console, and HTPC all rolled into one." by Andrew Cunningham on Jan 6 2014 at http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2014/01/smallness-uber-alles-intels-tiny-haswell-based-nuc-desktop-reviewed/ [arstechnica.com] .

The dimensions of the case are:
4.6 in. x 4.4 in. x 1.4 in.

Yo dawg I hurd U like computers... (1)

SpaceManFlip (2720507) | about 7 months ago | (#45891573)

... So we put a computer inside your computer so you can have a computer run computations while you use the computer inside the computer and on the computer!

I want to have a second computer inside my computer to do all the maintenance and shit that I don't want to do. Let the microcomputer be wired in to the PCI-Express bus with a bidirectional link and trusted association to access the files and the hardware sensors... it can do virus scans and monitor things, maybe even repair things if the main system goes down... etc

Re:Yo dawg I hurd U like computers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891745)

Heh, my mouse has a processor in it. Getting rather strange where these things are showing up.

Re:Yo dawg I hurd U like computers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891945)

Yeah, I was surprised the first time I realized that my keyboard and mouse had their own processors -- but that was on a Lisa, circa 1985.

Wonder how many Lisa emulations you could run simultaneously on this PC...

Re:Yo dawg I hurd U like computers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891887)

I want to have a second computer inside my computer to do all the maintenance and shit that I don't want to do.

So basically another processor core?

Re:Yo dawg I hurd U like computers... (1)

SpaceManFlip (2720507) | about 7 months ago | (#45892053)

I want to have a second computer inside my computer to do all the maintenance and shit that I don't want to do.

So basically another processor core?

No a separate fully-functional system that works regardless of the state of the main rig, like the article's SD-card-case-sized system, that could easily fit inside any desktop computer or regular laptop case.

Re:Yo dawg I hurd U like computers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45892063)

Not an identical core. A smaller core next to the core to monitor its functions and make sure it is working correctly. Something at the firmware level that does not run user tasks.

Hi (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45891577)

http://www.giyuu.com

Other applications (3, Interesting)

istartedi (132515) | about 7 months ago | (#45891641)

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...

Re:Other applications (1)

rhsanborn (773855) | about 7 months ago | (#45892193)

I do want my fridge online. We went out of town once and the kids didn't shut the freezer all the way and it ran and also spoiled all the food. At the very least, we could have known and arranged to have someone go close it.

External encryption unit? (Not yet) (5, Interesting)

gnoshi (314933) | about 7 months ago | (#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.

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