Yep, that thing is a computer, and while it probably won't be your next computer, it's definitely an interesting one. Made by hardware startup Xi3, the aluminum case (yes, it's available in more than just that orange mocha frappuccino color) houses three separate boards -- one holds the AMD Athlon 64 processor and 2GB of DDR2 RAM, another the power / video card, and the last the input / outputs. As you may have guessed, the 20 watt modular system is meant to be tinkered with, and in addition to those internal boards, it has only two sides, eight screws, and that colorful chassis; the company will sell additional modules on its site. So, how much will that little thing set ya back? Obviously, it's customizable, but the base model, which includes a 1.8GHz AMD Athlon 64 processor, 2GB of RAM, and 8GB of flash storage rings up at $850. That's pricey considering it doesn't include a Windows OS, but Xi3 told us that it's primarily aiming this thing at the embedded market and cloud computing customers. Still, that doesn't mean you couldn't configure it with a larger hard drive, install your OS of choice, and find a home for the little guy on your desk. It's available now at the source link, but before heading over there you'll want to check out some pictures of the Xi3's internals in the gallery below and then journey past the break for the full press release.

Xi3 computer hands-on

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Xi3 Corporation Unveils the Xi3 Modular Computer

Winner of a CES 2011 Innovations Award in the Computer Hardware Category, the cube-like
Xi3 Modular Computer measures less than 4-inches per side, is powered by
dual core processors and may be "the last computer you ever need to buy"

SALT LAKE CITY – November 10, 2010 – Xi3® Corporation today announced its Xi3 Modular Computer™, a truly new approach to personal computing.

Showcased last night for the first time to journalists and analysts at the CES Unveiled@NY Showcase and Networking Reception in New York City, the Xi3 Modular Computer was named by the Consumer Electronics Association as an Innovations Award Winner in the Computer Hardware Category for the 2011 International CES trade show.

Measuring less than 4-inches per side, powered by dual core processors, yet requiring less than 20 Watts to operate, the Xi3 Modular computer is a small cube-like computer that is (as its name suggests) completely modular in nature. The Xi3 Modular Computer is supported by six issued U.S. patents and utilizes the Xi3 computer architecture which divides the classic motherboard into three separate boards:

* One board that houses the processors and RAM, and
* Two additional I/O boards to handle all connectivity and input/output requirements.

Each Xi3 board can be quickly removed, modified and/or replaced. Additionally, the Xi3 design makes it very easy to connect new external devices to the Xi3 Modular Computer.

"We reject the concept that computers should have a useful life of only two to four years," said Jason A. Sullivan, President and CEO of Xi3 Corporation. "Instead we believe that computers should be upgradeable and updateable over and over and over again, and that's how we've designed the Xi3 Modular Computer, making it (potentially) the last computer you ever need to buy."

Xi3 Modular Computer Design

The Xi3 architectural design houses the three boards within a strong yet lightweight aluminum cube that is small enough for almost any embedded solution, yet is supremely functional for both office and home use. Additionally, the aluminum casing of the Xi3 Modular Computer serves as a type of heatsink, while the flow-through design and the placement of the processors within the computer combine to help mitigate and dissipate heat blooms inside the enclosure itself. Three of the external sides of the aluminum casing also host separate universal mounting slides, making it simple to mount an Xi3 Modular Computer to almost anything, anywhere.

Pricing and Availability

Retail priced at less than $1,000, the Xi3 Modular Computer is available in limited supplies today for evaluation and proofs-of-concept purposes. General mass market availability is slated for early 2011, with other Xi3 products slated for introduction throughout 2011. Xi3 Corporation will exhibit in Booth #26003 in the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center at the 2011 International CES tradeshow January 6-9, 2011 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

About Xi3 Corporation
Formed in 2010 and headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, Xi3 Corporation has brought a new type of computing to the world – modular computing, initially in the form of the Xi3 Modular Computer. For more information on Xi3 Corporation (an ISYS Technologies company), please visit www.Xi3.org.

About ISYS Technologies, Inc.
Formed in 2002 headquartered in Salt Lake City, Utah, ISYS Technologies is an intellectual property management company.

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Xi3 and Modular Computer are trademarks of Isys Technologies, Inc. ISYS Technologies is a servicemark of ISYS Technologies, Inc.

0 Comments

Xi3 Modular Computer is one cool-looking desktop in a cube