Making the announcement at CES 2017, Intel has taken the wraps off a device called the Compute Card. This is a credit card-sized computer that packs the guts of a computer inside of it, or at least the main components which according to Intel, include an “Intel SoC, memory, storage and wireless connectivity with flexible I/O options”.
While this won’t be used for upgrading your computer or smartphone, Intel envisions that it could be used to help upgrade devices like smart refrigerators, smart kiosks, security camera solutions, IoT gateways, and more. All users have to do is swap out their existing card for a newer model and they’ll be good to go. While you will still need to spend money, it could be cheaper than buying the entire device again.
Modular computer upgrades aren’t a new concept, although for some reason they haven’t really taken off yet. Several years ago Razer tried to introduce a similar concept for desktop PCs called Project Christine, but it seems that OEMs weren’t quite as eager to get on board, but hopefully the Intel Compute Card will succeed where Razer failed.