Asus has shelved plans to develop the PC of the future – literally. The Taiwanese vendor’s Green PC concept computer, shown to Reg Hardware this week, is just that: a shelf. And some clever wireless connectivity and non-contact inductive power source.
Asus Dreams up Modular PC of the Future
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2006-02-23 8:21 pmAccident
Damn I was just about to post that! lol
But are we talking about 2-5 years from now?
It would be great to customize your portable for the job a hand. Atleast for what I do.
This reminds me of S100 busses and many other since, 1 function per board but as it says the wireless interconnect is not practical anytime soon. For memory to processor connection you want them abolutely as close as possible through no artificial bridges either wireless or optical or even intella. Bridges add lots of latency and are bandwidth starved, relative to copper connect. Kinda reminds me of the 2001 Hal9000 optical contactless modules too.
The only practical modular PC is to stack up lots of identical modules with most everything built in to each one ie compute power follows no of modules with wireless for the network level.
An Apple flatpanel Mac with wireless mouse KB is close enough but the peripherals devices still need charging.
I would like to see the size of PCI like modules fit a much smaller formfactor though, right now PCI cards come in every form factor you can imagine, a credit card format is a good size for miniturized modular parts and much smaller enclosure. Remaining problem is fragile connectors like video and limited edges for such. We can’t go there because we are stuck with these 100W cpus which need big cases and PSUs.
We might also get there if that silicon spy dust with RF networking also takes off but thats another wacky project.
Just like those magical star trek computers. But don’t let all those pieces come out. Then you have to put them all back together in the right order Like that episode when Data does Tasha Yar.
Anywhose, that’s enough of me.
2006-02-23 9:19 pmtransputer_guy
In the original ever so cheaply made Captain Kirk Startrek as well as in most DrWho, Blake 7 or all UK SciFi stories the fantasy was always destroyed when the cheapo FX dept would throw a pile of old 60’s or 70 TTL PCBs together and you’d see Spock or the Doctor fumbling around with wires to make it work. So much better to see opto glass blocks or crystals or something, I don’t want to recognize the stuff from my basement.
In one DrWho story with the short ugly reptilian green man thing with the brain transplants they wallpapered the lab with photo plots of AMD chips, EEPROMs IIRC, quite funny.
..should spend their time concentrating on something more down-to-Earth, like fixing BIOS on their motherboards, instead of trying to impress us with a whiz bang “computer of the future” integrated into a toilet.
Hey, when this tech comes out, I’m sure that it will be quickly applied to laptops. Could give a new meaning to wardriving 😉
Driving around, you find a top of the line video card (Geforce 10k GTX?, Ati x3200 XTX?), and gaming couldn’t be cheaper
(with some sort of power booster of course)
I would not expect a business to adopt such a platform as hardware loss would be very, very easy outside of any secure room with limited access. Maybe in terms of a server room they would adopt it but not as desk top option.
Most home users would not buy it simply because it takes space. Enthusiasts would want it and obviously make the room – a new bookshelf, for it. It would be interesting to see and being an enthusiast, I would look into getting it… ifnwhen it becomes a reality.
2006-02-23 11:37 pmtransputer_guy
Pilfering parts doesn’t have to be easy as sliding blocks out.
In the days when workstations had 256M of DRAM and PC/Macs had 16M, it was common for insiders to borrow all the DRAMs from the workstations, atleast one famous semiconductor company suffered that here in MA.
2006-02-24 5:13 pmMichael
Don’t be silly, there’s nothing to stop you putting a locked box around it. The cost benefit of not paying IT guys to opperate a screwdriver probably makes up for any security risk.
The size issue is a genuine one but I doubt we’ll ever see anything that looks quite like that shelf hit the market. Look at the laptop.
I think ASUS has the right idea here, but if it depends on a standardised form factor, they’ll need a lot of support to actually make it happen.
It’s innovative, that’s for sure, whether it gets a lot of attention, I guess we’ll have to wait and see…
I noticed that there aren’t a lot of comments about it though; could you imagine if instead of Asus, it was Apple that designed this.. this.. iShelf? It would probably get all sorts of awards and such.
Or how about they just build a box the size of a Mac mini that has those modular parts, and let me keep my own damn shelf?
Looks very similar to one of the winners of the MS sponsored design competition that concluded last month.