Intel Plans to Launch Thumb-sized Gadget that Turns Your Smart Devices into a PC
Intel, in an event yesterday, disclosed its plans to release thumb-sized ‘compute sticks’ next year. This thumb-sized technology will plug into smart TVs or monitors, and promises to bring more than typical content streaming capabilities. Even though, there are a handful of such products such as Chromecast from Google that lets you stream your content from your android phone to smart TVs, they are limited to just simple streaming.
Unveiled by Kirk Skaugen, Intel PC Client Group General Manager, the shrinked PC is expected to feature the company’s Atom processor. Along with that, it will come with a chunk of memory with a USB input for power, an HDMI output for display, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for network and peripheral connectivity. If that sounds familiar, that’s because numerous companies have released near-identical devices as add-ons for TVs, typically using system-on-chip processors based on the ARM instruction set architecture and Google’s Android operating system.
Intel has subtly hinted that this thumb-sized stick is so much more than the simple streaming device. Intel has already been playing cards against ARM and its multitudinous licensees in the mobile market as expected, and it appears that the ‘smart-stick’ market is next. However, Skaugen did not get into the details of the operating system that will run on the gadget when it launches next year.
What he said was that the devices will be an extension to laptops and mini-desktops. It will bring x86 computing to fanless designs. It is quite obvious that the device will run on low-power Atom processors that could also be used into TV sticks like Google Chromecast and Amazon’s Fire TV stick.
Thumb PCs have been already available and typically run on Android OS and ARM processors. They might be quite late to enter the market but based on what Skaugen said, it seems like the company is in with more interesting and general-purpose plans.