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Monday, May 23, 2011

Xi3 Introduces First Chrome OS Based Desktop Computer: ChromiumPC

Xi3, a newly formed, little know company based in Salt Lake City, Utah has garnered the distinction of becoming the first company to make the world’s first desktop computer to run on Google Chrome. Known as the Chromium PC Modular Computer, the computer comes in the form of a small cube. It requires just 20 watts of power to run and is a dual-core modular computer. The system can be used in tandem with your existing desktop and can run under your existing primary OS.
The ChromiumPC has been under development since 2009 and it’s now that the product has been deemed ready for large scale production. It supports almost all x86 based operating systems including Windows, Linux and Unix. Xi3 says that they think the market is now ready for a desktop computer with a cloud based operating system, which Google currently has. Using the Chromium PC and switching the OS is very easy if we are to believe Xi3. However we think it involves the rather daunting process of removing and inserting the I/O modules. You know, removing and reinserting stuff is still a techy job for most people out there.
Anyway, coming back to the ChromiumPC, this one consists of three boards (or modules) known as the Processor Module, the Primary I/O Module, and the Secondary I/O Module. Since most people are used to the motherboard processor and RAM combo when talking about computers, let’s see how these modules can be compared to a traditional PC set up.
According to Xi3, the Processor Module packs in the processor and RAM, the Primary I/O Module houses the external communications ports nwhile the secondary I/O Module deals with connectivity, video and power. The advantage with Xi3 is that you can change these modules as per your requirements without affecting the rest of the modules. What about the new modules then you might ask then?

Xi3 adds that they have already started working on a host of new primary and secondary I/O modules. There would also be third party suppliers who would develop their own I/O modules compatible with the ChromiumPC. The company expects the first of the new modules to be available this summer. The ChromiumPC too is set to be available starting the second half of this year – which means we have to wait until June or even a few months post June to see this one going for sale. Xi3 is also yet to declare how they intend to price this product.

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