Intel's Compute Card: Will this tiny device power a new generation of mini PCs?

Intel is looking to transform how new features are delivered to connected devices with its new Compute Card.

Intel has launched Compute Card, a slim, modular PC that it wants other brands to incorporate into connected things, such as kiosks, smart TVs, different form factor PCs, and home appliances.

The top-tier model features a seventh-generation Intel i5-7Y57 CPU, 4GB RAM, up to a 128GB solid-state drive, and wireless chip.

Intel's ultra-slim Compute Card to ease upgrades for IoT devices

Roughly the size of a credit card, the super-tiny PC can fit a Kaby Lake processor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and more in a package that's just 5mm thick.

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The Compute Card differs from Intel's Compute Stick, which was for consumers who needed a small PC to plug into a living-room display. Instead, the Compute Card will show up in devices like an all-in-one and mini PC from Foxconn, LG smart monitors, Sharp digital signage, and a range of other traditional computing devices.

The Compute Card's modular design is meant to make it easier for consumers to upgrade smart features in their connected devices, simply by slotting in a new card. Manufacturers would benefit by incorporating a compatible slot into their connected products, cutting the need, for example, to develop their own circuit boards.

Lenovo, Dell, and HP are working on Compute Card-powered products, but they're not ready for showing yet, according to Intel.

Intel unveiled the Compute Card at CES earlier this year and is now gearing up to ship the devices in August.

Intel has released a Compute Card Device Design Kit for product developers, which includes guides and reference designs to support the card.

To get developers started, it's also built its own Card Compute Dock with a 19V DC power supply, HDMI port and USB 3.0 ports to connect displays and other peripherals.

Though the dock would appeal to consumers, it appears to be aimed at product developers who support customer signage and conference-room systems. It also has a reference design dock that can be customized to fit other connected products.

Intel is encouraging would-be Compute Card developers to consider how they would embed, cool, and eject the compute module in a way that meets its requirements for a mechanical secure lock.

The Compute Card will be available in four configurations outlined below.

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Intel's Compute Card comes in four configurations.

Image: Intel

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