It’s no secret that computers are getting smaller, and everyone is trying to get in on the fun. Intel has strayed from its normal role as a processor provider, and has been releasing shrunken platforms like the NUC and the even smaller Compute Stick. Now, a leaked roadmap purports to show the planned features and specifications for the next few generations of Intel Computer Stick.
The first Compute Stick intrigued us with smooth 1080p playback, and while it was priced competitively for a computer, it wasn’t cheap enough to beat out dedicated media streamers. The upgrade to the line will bring increased graphical and processing performance, as well as streamlined functionality.
First on the slide is the already released “Falls City” in both Windows and Linux variants based on the Atom Bay Trail architecture. The Windows variant includes Windows 8.1 with Bing, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage. The Linux Compute Stick comes with Ubuntu preinstalled, but only has 8GB of storage and 1GB of RAM. Both the Windows and Linux version of the “Falls City” Compute Stick include Wi-Fi-BGN and Bluetooth 4.0.
In the fourth quarter of 2015, the “Cedar City” Compute Stick will find its way to release, sporting a 64GB SATA drive and 4GB of RAM alongside a Core M processor. It also includes HDMI+MHL support, so you won’t have to connect it to USB for power, it will simply draw all it needs through the HDMI port on your monitor or TV. The “Cedar City” also includes USB 3.0 support and 802.11ac Wi-Fi, but it only comes in a Windows 10 with Bing variant.
Finally, sometime in the first half of 2016 we should see the “Falls City 2” Compute Sticks, again in both Windows 10 and Linux variants powered by the newly announced Atom Broxton chips. This second wave will bring in the MHL support that was built into the first “Falls City” run, as well as increase the storage in the Windows 10 version to a 64GB eMMC drive.
While the first “Falls City” release won’t support 4K resolutions, both the “Cedar City” and “Falls City 2” releases will, with the second “Falls City” set boasting upgraded graphical performance.
Of course, this is all speculation, but the roadmap seems legitimate based on what we already know about the current Compute Stick and Intel’s plan for processor releases over the next year or two.