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Patent Filing Reveals Nvidia May Build Tiny Computers

The "portable computer system" is described as a small computer that is about the size of a USB memory stick.

Nvidia's filing outlines the idea of packing a Tegra processor, Flash storage, RAM, at least one USB port, and other interface types such as a parallel port, a serial port, IEEE 1394 (Firewire), VGA, HDMI, S-Video, AV, DVI, LAN and WiFi into a package that is just 40-60 mm long, 10-20 mm wide and 5-10 mm thick. The feature set would be comparable to a entry-level computer system with limited storage and cloud connectivity.

Of course, it would not be a powerful local gaming rig, but most likely enough to bring along on a key chain. There is no display; the idea is to plug the device into an LCD or TV to be used as a display or into a regular computer to perform simple computing tasks much more efficiently as the device will consume just about 10 watts.

One could argue that much of the potential features are already covered by smartphones, but this Nvidia Tegra system could be substantially cheaper than a smartphone. In volume production, Nvidia could push the bill of materials well below $100, which could make it the most affordable new computer on sale.

  • keyanf
    If old Radio Shack ads are any indication, old bulky desktops were known as "little computers" back in the day.

    If this is now a "little computer", I have to wonder what the term will refer to in a decade or two.
    Reply
  • loomis86
    It probably will need to be under 50 bucks or no one will buy.
    Reply
  • xx_pemdas_xx
    will work good as a terminal for a root server :)
    hope they can run linux.
    Reply
  • clonazepam
    I could imagine having this thing plugged into an available hdmi slot on a typical monitor or television. With Wi-Fi capabilities and a usb port(s) for keyboard/mouse, or bluetooth capable for wireless keyboard/mouse, I could leave the typical desktop machine powered off and use this lil guy to surf the web and post on Tom's, for under a $100? That should be a worthwhile long-term power saving device. There's certainly plenty of other alternatives to achieve the same goals, but choice is always welcome. I wouldn't buy it but it could be useful to some people.
    Reply
  • loomis86
    keyanfIf old Radio Shack ads are any indication, old bulky desktops were known as "little computers" back in the day.If this is now a "little computer", I have to wonder what the term will refer to in a decade or two.
    in one decade there will be such incredible changes I don't think people realize what is coming and how soon it will be here. The very word "computer" may no longer have meaning ten years from now. The IBM "watson" computer will be ordinary tech in a desktop size by then and owned by private individuals. In two decades I'm thinking personal android assistants will be available. The technological singularity is expected to arrive in 2045 if current rate of technology acceleration continues.
    Reply
  • _Pez_
    This Sounds Great Idea ! I would buy one even if it works for web and documents.
    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    xX_PEMDAS_Xxwill work good as a terminal for a root server hope they can run linux.
    Forget it, your stupid Linux never had good hardware support and never will, since open source fools are stubborn and refuse to accept proprietary drivers easily. So unless nVidia will develop it for Linux from day 1 and support it (which is sooooo not likely!), expect a ton of issues. Linux users like them, it's why they don't need gaming - they play with their OS all the time instead.
    Reply
  • aevm
    This could be very neat if you go to client sites to provide support or give demos. You can travel light, no more laptop to carry... But, will this Tegra processor run PowerPoint or whatever software you want to run?


    Reply
  • amk-aka-Phantom
    clonazepamI could imagine having this thing plugged into an available hdmi slot on a typical monitor or television. With Wi-Fi capabilities and a usb port(s) for keyboard/mouse, or bluetooth capable for wireless keyboard/mouse, I could leave the typical desktop machine powered off and use this lil guy to surf the web and post on Tom's, for under a $100? That should be a worthwhile long-term power saving device. There's certainly plenty of other alternatives to achieve the same goals, but choice is always welcome. I wouldn't buy it but it could be useful to some people.
    Got a netbook for all that already :D I'd buy this thing just for the hell of it if it'd be cheap - I think this is what nVidia is hoping for. Don't see any real use for it right now.
    Reply
  • i8cookiemonster
    Looks like someone already beat nvidia to this...
    http://www.raspberrypi.org/
    Reply