Xi3's Compact Modular Computer: "The Last You'll Ever Need"

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News Posted: Thu, Nov 11 2010 9:40 AM
CES 2011 is just around the corner, and that always means that innovative ideas will start to pop up as the show draws closer. Many show attendees have already submitted their products for CES 2011 design competitions, and it looks like one company that will definitely get a lot of attention there is Xi3. You probably haven't heard of this company selling desktops along with Shuttle, Dell or anyone else, but you will soon.

Xi3 has won a CES 2011 Innovations Award in the Computer Hardware Category, all thanks to the interestingly designed Xi3 Modular Computer. This unit measures under 4" per side and is powered by a selection of 64-bit x86 dual core processors. The real kicker? Xi3 says this may be "the last computer you ever need to buy." It's also green, requiring under 20 watts to operate. The most novel design aspect is that it's modular, which means that its parts are divided on three separate boards on the standard motherboard.


One board houses the processors and RAM, and two other I/O boards handle all connectivity and input/output requirements. In theory, you could just upgrade any of these to upgrade your machine in the future. Jason A. Sullivan, President and CEO of Xi3 Corporation, has a pretty bold take on things: "We reject the concept that computers should have a useful life of only two to four years. 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."

The aluminum casing of the machine is sturdy and helps to keep it cool, and 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. It's actually available today for $849, but only in limited supplies today for evaluation and proofs-of-concept purposes. General availability is planned for early 2011, along with more products from the company. Looks like they've got a bright future.

 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 64-bit x86 dual core processors and may be “the last computer you ever need to buy”

2011 International CES

SALT LAKE CITY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Xi3® Corporation today announced its Xi3 Modular Computer™, a truly new approach to personal computing.

    “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.”

Showcased last night for the first time to journalists 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 64-bit x86 dual core processors, yet requiring an average of 20 Watts or less to operate, the Xi3 Modular computer is a small cube-like computer that is 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.”

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. (Visit http://www.xi3.org/tech_specs.php for complete specifications for the Xi3 Modular Computer.)

Retail priced at $849, the Xi3 Modular Computer is available in limited supplies today for evaluation and proofs-of-concept purposes. General availability is slated for early 2011, with other Xi3 products slated for introduction starting in 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. 
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realneil replied on Thu, Nov 11 2010 5:54 PM

"Let's take it apart!"

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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realneil replied on Wed, Dec 29 2010 7:04 PM

I want two of them

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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3vi1 replied on Wed, Dec 29 2010 7:29 PM

>> and may be “the last computer you ever need to buy”


I'm somewhat skeptical.  ;)  That is an incredibly sweet form-factor for something with so many connectors though.  Well done!

What part of "Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" don't you understand?

++++++++++++[>++++>+++++++++>+++>+<<<<-]>+++.>++++++++++.-------------.+++.>---.>--.

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Inspector replied on Wed, Dec 29 2010 9:31 PM

Real nice, i'll take all of the current supply, lets connect them all and see what comes from it :D

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realneil replied on Tue, May 22 2012 9:16 AM

3vi1:
I'm somewhat skeptical.  ;)

You should have been. They turned out to be outlandishly expensive. People who own them, like them though.

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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