Intel Compute Card
Intel originally announced its Compute Card earlier this year at CES and outlined its plan to use it in a wide range of devices. The concept is simple: cram an SoC, storage, and connectivity into a small 94.5 x 55 x 5mm package that you can use in a wide variety of devices, including tablets, laptops, AIOs, refrigerators (yes, seriously), and IoT gateways.
When newer Compute Cards with beefier processors, storage, and connectivity become available, you simply eject the old card and insert a new one to provide more performance within the same device. That extends the lifecycle of “disposable” computing devices.
The concept is sound, but the size of the package is limited. As such, it was surprising that Intel managed to pack in up to a Core i5-7Y57, 4GB of DDR3, a 128GB SSD, and Intel Wireless-AC 8265 (2x2.11ac & Bluetooth 4.2) into the slim new form factor. It’s also impressive considering the card apparently has no heat dissipation apparatus.
A slew of partners have signed on to construct new devices around the replaceable cards, and more will follow. We’ve already seen new AIOs from ECS at Computex 2017, but even more intriguing, Dell, HP, and Lenovo plan to introduce new products soon. If Intel’s plan works, you won’t have to upgrade your laptop every three years--you’ll just slip in a new card and continue working.