CES 2017: Intel's Compute Card lets you upgrade your smart devices easily

CES 2017: Intel's Compute Card lets you upgrade your smart devices easily

Today, most appliances you purchase are immediately obsolete as there is generally no upgrade path. In the context of a Smart TV, its OS might pale in capabilities as opposed to a newer TV. Alas, the prerequisite to enjoy a new OS and capabilities is usually tied to a proportional increase in compute and connectivity upgrades. However, if Intel’s new Intel Compute Card platform takes off, this could well be a bygone problem. Simply swap out an old compute card for a new one and you’re ready to reap the benefits!

For some time now, Intel has been championing the Internet of Things (IoT) with various maker kits and development kits and integrating sensor compute solutions so tiny, you could turn any ordinary thing into ‘smart product’ with the right pairing and programming. To support their cause in enabling more smart and connected devices, they decided to develop a compute platform that’s small and powerful enough that could be integrated into many everyday devices, yet have enough notable processing throughput to make a difference.

Enter the Intel Compute Card: a credit card sized all-in-one computing platform that has all the elements of a full computer – including an Intel SoC, memory, storage, wireless communications and flexible I/O options for hardware vendors to customize/optimize for their intended solutions. Be it a smart fridge, oven, kiosk, security camera and IoT gateways, the Intel Compute Card’s diminutive dimensions of 94.5 x 55 x 5mm would easily allow it to fit anywhere.

The Intel Compute Card sample laid next to a name card.

The TDP of this compute card is just 6 watts and uses 7th generation Kaby Lake processor of the Core M class. This puts the Intel Compute Card to have equal processing throughput as the Intel Compute Stick. To have an Intel Core M class for its brain means that the Compute Card offers a very respectable throughput, more so it’s from the latest Kaby Lake class.

Connection to compaible devices would use a new standard connector (USB-C plus extension), which will provide USB, PCIe, HDMI, DP and additional signals between the card and the device.

For now, the Intel Compute Card is just an announcement and it will be mid 2017 before the company can provide availability and pricing details. Meanwhile, Intel is working with leading global partners to develop products to take advantage of the Intel Compute Card's simplified design, ease of serviceability and user upgradeability. The early partners include Dell, HP, Lenovo and Sharp.  Intel is also working with a range of regional partners to develop unique solutions for their specific markets. Early partners include Seneca Data, InFocus, DTx, TabletKiosk and Pasuntech.

More on CES 2017 here.