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PC fits into keyboard, uses only five Watts

Dec 18, 2009, 16:32 (4 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jonathan Angel)


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"Built into a standard-sized keyboard, the "Gecko Surfboard" runs on a 1GHz x86 SoC (system on chip), operates fanlessly, and uses just five Watts, the company says.

"NorhTec's Gecko Surfboard is an interesting follow-on to the Gecko EduBook, a $200 netbook announced in May, and the Gecko Infopad, a $300 tablet PC announced in September, both of which are said to be capable of running on AA batteries. Like these previous Geckos, the Surfboard uses the 1.0GHz Vortex86MX (also marketed as the MSTI PMX-1000) a SoC introduced by Taiwan-based DMP Electronics last December. (The Vortex86MX, pictured below, is related to DMP's earlier Vortex86DX, but adds integrated graphics and audio.)

"NorhTec, which rebrands the Vortex86MX as the Xcore86, characterizes it as a "light-duty" processor, but says the SoC provides enough power to run Windows XP, Windows CE, or one of several different Linux distributions. The SoC runs fanlessly, and includes graphics and other typical northbridge/southbridge functions while using just five Watts, the company says."

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