CUPP Computing has debuted an unlocked module for x86 PCs that allows users to combine a high-performance PC processor (x86/IA) and a low-power chip (RISC/ARM) into a single platform. Oh, and yes, you can use PunkThis to run Android apps on your PC.
"PunkThis [facilitates] more practical computing with greater battery life and a more versatile set of use cases,” a company rep claimed.
"It [offers] low power applications and flexibility, with seamless access to PC processing power as needed. The PunkThis module provides over 20 hour computing in a standard netbook or 40 hours with a low power screen."
As expected, the PunkThis module fits in a standard 2.5" drive bay and features both a Mini PCIe SSD HD and a 1GHz TI OMAP ARM processor with 512MB.
Additional specs include:
- Two USB connections (host & USB OTG).
- Wiring kits for solder-less installation.
- Micro SD System Memory.
- Mini PCIe SSD for PC C: drive.
- Micro SD for shared drive.
- Keyboard Controller.
- Audio I/O.
- Operating systems - Ubuntu, Android 2.3, Open Platform.
- Power - 20 hour battery life in 10" Netbook; 40 hour battery life with low power screen (PixelQi).
- PunkThis desktop enclosure - 5 USB Ports; audio I/O; DVI I/O; power SD Card; headphone jack.
My take on all this geeky goodness?
Sure, PunkThis sounds like a really sweet concept - for devs and modders. However, I honestly doubt the module will catch on as a stand-alone device for mainstream users.
Then again, PunkThis does allow you to run Android apps on your PC, but how many people are really interested in that type of crossover - at least at this stage?
Of course, OEMs are likely to take notice and monitor implementation of PunkThis on netbook systems such as the 1015PN by Asus.
If successful, a hybrid approach to portable/mobile computing may be considered somewhat of a viable option in the future.
Frankly, I’m personally not a huge fan of all this mixing and matching - on a hardware level. I’d definitely feel more comfortable with an ARM-based system and an x86 emulator than using a system that boasted both architectures.
Similarly, I’d also prefer a next-gen x86 mobile device with Bluestacks virtualization software to PunkThis.
Sure, maybe it would sip more power than an ARM-powered system, but eventually, x86 chips will (hopefully) be low-powered enough to justify doing away with hardware add-ons/patches/workarounds like the Punk.