Xi3 builds a modular computer

Posted by Trent Nouveau

Xi3 is touting a sleek and sexy modular computer that measures less than 4-inches per side.

Although the cube-like system is powered by dual core processors, it requires only a paltry 20 watts to operate.

So, what make the Xi3 Modular Computer unique?

Xi3 builds a modular computerWell, it divides the classic motherboard configuration into three separate entities:

  • A single board that houses the processors and RAM.
  • Two additional I/O boards to handle all connectivity and input/output requirements.


As expected, each Xi3 board can be quickly removed, modified or replaced. 



"We reject the concept that computers should have a useful life of only two to four years," explained Xi3 CEO Jason A. Sullivan.

"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."

modular computer xi3According to Sullivan, the Xi3 architectural design houses the three boards within a strong, lightweight aluminum cube that is small enough for almost any embedded platform.



"The aluminum casing of the Xi3 Modular Computer [also] 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," he said.

"[Meanwhile], three of the external sides of the aluminum casing host separate universal mounting slides, making it simple to mount an Xi3 Modular Computer to almost anything, anywhere."

Additional specs include:

  • AMD Athlon 64 X2 up to 35 watts - AMD 780e and SB710.
  • Integrated 2GB DDR2 667/800 for increased capability in shock.
  • Supports dual display for 1080p DVI, VGA, HDMI, LVDS and DP.
  • Offers 128MB of side port memory, Blue Ray hardware decode.
  • Features 6 USB Ports and 2 SATA Ports, Xi3p and PCIe 1x.
  • Supports TPM and ISV Software Hardware License Lock (optional).
  • Can be used as a "Power Cloud Client."



Priced at less than $1,000, the Xi3 Modular Computer is currently available in limited supply for evaluation and proofs-of-concept purposes.

 The system is slated to hit the mass market in early 2011, with various iterations expected to be introduced throughout the year.