Intel announced that it is finally ending its line of modular Compute Cards after only a single generation of development.
The credit card-sized devices were meant to provide a versatile computing solution for consumers. Each product is fitted with all the essential parts of a PC such as a CPU, a RAM, and storage. All users have to do is to connect the cards to designated docking ports to turn them into workstations.
While Intel said it will continue to sell its remaining inventory of the Compute Cards through the end of this year, the company will no longer offer new versions of the devices moving forward.
"We continue to believe modular computing is a market where there are many opportunities for innovation," a spokesman for Intel told tech website Tom's Hardware.
"However, as we look at the best way to address this opportunity, we've made the decision that we will not develop new Compute Card products moving forward."
A Product Ahead Of Its Time
Intel first revealed about its Compute Cards at CES 2017 in Las Vegas. The devices were billed as an easy way for users to keep their smart homes from becoming obsolete, especially since newer and better technologies seem to always come out every year.
Consumers can upgrade their PCs or laptops by plugging in the modular cards. If they want to have more computing power, they can buy higher versions of the cards and simply connect them to their devices.
The Compute Cards were also designed to help improve the performance of smart home appliances such as TV and refrigerators.
The technology was supposed to be ahead of its time when it was launch two years ago, but it seems development quickly caught up with it. Intel's modular computing solution just could not keep up with the burgeoning of cloud systems.
Consumers are also gaining more access to better internet connectivity, making it easier for them to connect to the web rather than rely on a static computing system.
The End For Intel's Compute Cards
News about the impending cancelation of the Compute Cards first broke from NexDock, one of the earliest adopters of the new technology following its release.
In a blog post, NexDock hinted at the uncertain future of the modular cards. The tech company said Intel might no longer develop new generations for the Compute Cards.
This is not the first time a company tried to explore the possibilities of modular computers.
In 2015, gadgets maker The Hive unveiled a smartphone-sized PC known as Amplicity. The company marketed the device as having the same power as a full-sized desktop computer but in a tiny package.
Similar to Intel's Compute Cards, the Amplicity can be docked in order to turn into a workstation. Some docks can let the device to connect to a keyboard, mouse, and monitor using HDMI and USB cables.
Meanwhile, other docks can be used to help cool down Amplicity's CPU, or even add a video card to allow the PC to edit up to 4K resolution videos.