Intel planning thumb-sized PCs for next year

The devices will plug into smart TVs and monitors

Intel's thumb-sized PC, screen capture

Intel's thumb-sized PC, screen capture

Intel is shrinking PCs to thumb-sized "compute sticks" that will be out next year.

The stick will plug into the back of a smart TV or monitor "and bring intelligence to that," said Kirk Skaugen, senior vice president and general manager of the PC Client Group at Intel, during the Intel investor conference in Santa Clara, California, which was webcast.

A device the size of a USB stick was shown on stage, but its capabilities were not demonstrated. Skaugen said the devices will be an extension to laptops and mini-desktops, which have Core desktop processors in small PCs that can be handheld.

Skaugen likened the compute stick to similar thumb PCs offered by PC makers with the Android OS and ARM processor. Dell's US$129.99 Wyse Cloud Connect -- which plugs into an HDMI port -- can turn a screen or display into a PC, gaming machine or streaming media player.

Such devices typically don't have internal storage, but can be used to access files and services in the cloud. The Wyse Cloud Connect has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

The market for such devices is in the tens of millions of units, Skaugen said. The compute stick will bring x86 computing to fanless designs, he said.

Intel makes low-power Atom processors for mobile devices, which could fit into thumb-sized PCs.

It's also likely that Intel is looking to put its processors into TV sticks like Google Chromecast and Amazon's Fire TV stick, which are growing in popularity.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags hardware systemsComponentsprocessorsintel

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott


My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?