Many people only use their computers to check email, browse the web, do word processing, spreadsheets, etc. For them, many of today’s PCs are overkill, but it’s not clear what a good alternative would be, especially if they want low energy consumption. Enter stage left: The CherryPal, a tiny PC based on a Freescale CPU and the Linux (Debian) operating system. It’s about the size of a paperback book and uses 80% fewer components than a regular PC. To make the trade-off acceptable, the CherryPal will use “cloud computing”, meaning that many applications will run on an online server (same basic concept as web-based email). Read on for more technical specifications.
CherryPal Technical Specs
* Freescale’s MPC5121e mobileGT processor, 800 MIPS (400 MHz) of processing power
* 256MB of DDR2 DRAM
* 4GB NAND Flash-based solid state drive
* WiFi 802.11b/g Wi-Fi
* Two USB 2.0 ports
* One 10/100 Ethernet with RJ-45 jack
* One VGA DB-15 display out jack
* Headphone level stereo audio out 3.5mm jack
* 9vDC 2.5mm 10 watt AC-DC adapter power supply
* 10.5 ounces
* 1.3″ high, 5.8″ x 4.2″ wide
Don’t let the relatively slow clockspeed of the CPU fool you. It has a different design from the current Intel and AMD processors so you can’t compare it directly:
“The MPC5121e processor is built around an efficient triple-core architecture consisting of a Power Architecture core, a 3-D-graphics processor core and a CD-quality audio processor core. The powerful 3D-graphics processor is engineered to provide a graphics pipeline capable of gaming-class 3-D rendering while keeping the DRAM bandwidth requirements to a bare minimum. The triple-core MPC5121e architecture is designed to allow the costly distributed DRAM memory systems within a PC to be merged into a single shared DRAM memory system.”
They even claim it boots in 20 seconds.
The CherryPal is scheduled to come out on August 4th, 2008. No word on pricing yet except that the company says it will be “dramatically cheaper” than something like Asus’ $400 EEE.