The big picture: Modular platforms, at least in theory, seem like a great idea. Rather than having to replace an entire device, you just upgrade the core hardware – usually the processor, memory and storage – with a new module and keep using the other supporting components.
Intel has confirmed that it will no longer develop new Compute Card products. The chipmaker will continue to sell and support current Compute Card products through 2019, an Intel spokesperson told Tom’s Hardware, but the future essentially ends here.
Introduced at CES 2017, Intel’s Compute Card platform is a modular PC that stuffs the processor, memory, storage and wireless connectivity hardware on a card that’s roughly the size of a few credit cards. The idea is to make upgrades seamless by removing an old card and plugging in a new one for an instant performance boost.
In speaking to Tom’s Hardware, an Intel spokesperson said they continue to believe modular computing is a market where there are many opportunities for innovation.
The decision to discontinue new Compute Card products seemingly says otherwise.
A few key issues have kept modular solutions on the sidelines and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Chief among them is the fact that form factors continually advance. Ironically enough, faster interfaces and sleeker designs essentially make modular components outdated.
What’s more, manufacturers can make more money selling consumers entire devices than they can on more affordable upgrade parts and let’s face it, the idea of getting a flashy new gadget is more appealing to people than upgrading their old device.