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Xi3 partners up with Intel to make teeny tiny PCs

Xi3, a firm known for making miniature desktop PCs like the Piston, announced a “multi-phase” partnership with CPU giant Intel to make and sell next-gen Micro-Mini computers. This includes Intel PCs based on the company’s Next Unit of Computing design.

With this joint effort, Intel and Xi3 are eyeing the government and enterprise sectors. Xi3 plans to work on building small form factor systems that feature low power Intel processors.

“This agreement will result in Xi3’s first commercially available Micro-Mini computers powered by Intel processors,” Jason A. Sullivan, founder, president, and CEO of Xi3 Corporation said. “We see this relationship as the perfect marriage between processor and platform technologies.”

Xi3’s announcement doesn’t provide any precise details as to what Intel processors the systems might include, aside from the fact that they’ll be sipping energy, instead of feasting on it. However, if Intel’s CPU-related Computex 2014 announcements are any indication, one of the first chips to appear in these jointly-developed PCs could be the Core M, which is designed to operate without the benefit of a cooling fan, and is meant for use in ultra-slim devices.

The Intel Core M chip is based on next-generation Broadwell architecture. According to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, Broadwell chips won’t start hitting the market until this upcoming holiday season.

Considering that this partnership between Xi3 and Intel was just announced, and the fact that Broadwell CPUs are only about six months away from launching, we expect these new systems to be spearheaded by Intel’s newest processing technology. Whether that includes the Core M remains to be seen. It’s also unclear how much these systems will cost once they do see the light of day.

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