Linux Gaming News

‘World’s smallest’ thumbdrive-sized computer up for pre-order

What may look like an ordinary USB thumb drive at first glance may actually be a fully operational computer.

Meet “Cotton Candy,” a tiny computer made by Norway-based FXI Technologies that is now available for pre-orders.


“Cotton Candy is the world’s first any screen cloud computer, weighing only 21 grams. Its unique architecture will allow the device to serve as an ideal companion to smartphones, tablets, notebook PCs and Macs as well as will add smart capabilities to existing displays, set top boxes and game consoles,” FXI said.

FXI’s tiny machine can run either Ubuntu or Android 4.0 – both variants of the Linux operating system, tech site ArsTechnica said.

ArsTechnica noted “Cotton Candy” has a dual-core 1.2GHz ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, 1GB of RAM, and a Mali 400MP GPU that allows it to decode high-definition video.

“The small form factor and relatively high specs make the product seem like a compelling choice for enthusiasts who are looking for an ultra-compact Linux system,” tech site ArsTechnica said.

FXI said the tiny machine’s other features include:

– ARM Cortex-A9 (1GHz) CPU from Samsung
– ARM Mali-400 MP (Quad-core, 1.2GHz) GPU
– Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
– HDMI output
– Android operating system

It said the tiny computer decodes MPEG-4, H.264 and other video formats and display HD graphics on any HDMI equipped screen.

“Operating systems supported to date include Android Gingerbread and Ice Cream Sandwich as well as Ubuntu. On-screen content can be controlled a wide variety of ways – wirelessly using smartphones with an app, Bluetooth peripherals like mice and RF remote controls; or by leveraging a notebook’s integrated keyboard and touchpad,” FXI said.

While it can boot standalone and operate as a complete computer when plugged into a display, it can be plugged into a conventional computer as well, ArsTechnica added.

A separate article on The Verge said the tiny computer is available for $199, with deliveries expected to start in March.

Meanwhile, FXI founder Borgar Ljosland said they are launching, a community website and technical forum where Cotton Candy development units are immediately available for pre-order.

“The world is anxiously awaiting Cotton Candy’s release. We’ve had interest in the any screen computer for everything from portable set top box gaming and entertainment to mobile any screen computing, in addition to a host of specialized medical, automotive and other applications. The size, raw horsepower and combined HDMI, USB and MicroUSB connectivity bring unprecedented flexibility to the portable market,” he said. — TJD, GMA News

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