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CUPP confirms funding for PunkThis development

CUPP confirms funding for PunkThis development

CUPP's PunkThis board allows netbook owners to add a low-power ARM chip to their system with ease.

Multi-mode computing specialist CUPP Computing has confirmed that it is continuing development of its PunkThis board following a funding hiccough late last year, giving hope that the ARM-based add-on will one day see a commercial release.

Based on the company's patented multi-mode computing technology, the PunkThis offers a Texas Instruments DM3730 ARM Cortex-A8 processor running at 1GHz and 512MB of RAM on a plug-in mini-PCIe module for insertion into existing computers.

The idea, the company explains, is twofold: developers gain an easy way to switch between an ARM and an x86 environment, while end-users get a near-instant boot environment for simple tasks and the promise of massively boosted battery life.

According to CUPP's own figures, a netbook equipped with a PunkThis module will run for over 20 hours with a standard screen or around 40 hours with a PixelQi-based display.

In addition to the processor and memory, the PunkThis module includes two microSD slots for system storage and shared storage, a mini-PCIe connector and compatible SSD for use as the x86 host's boot drive, Wi-Fi, USB host and USB On-The-Go connectivity, a reprogrammable keyboard controller and audio connections.

Currently implemented in an Asus 1015PN netbook, the idea is to simply remove the existing mini-PCIe SSD and replace it with a PunkThis module with no soldering required. Other netbooks are expected to be supported in due time.

The company has also confirmed plans to release a desktop enclosure which turns the PunkThis module into standalone low-power PC. This case is set to feature external connectors for audio, dual DVI video, audio, an SD card, and a total of five USB ports.

On the software front, CUPP has confirmed that ARM builds of Ubuntu Linux and Android will be supported. While the system currently runs on Android 2.3 'Gingerbread,' CUPP confirms that work is ongoing to port the latest Android 4.0 'Ice Cream Sandwich' to the platform.

As an open platform, however, users are free to port whatever operating system they see fit to the PunkThis module. Sadly, while Windows 8 will support the ARM instruction set architecture, the module's 512MB of memory likely precludes its use.

Development of the module was put on hold as the company missed a planned round of funding. Thankfully, 50 per cent of that funding has been found, with discussions ongoing to raise the rest. 'We hope to have the PunkThis Module back on track in the next weeks,' the company confirmed in a statement.

More information is available on the company's site.

Fancy a 20-hour netbook, or do you have a more exciting plan in mind for the PunkThis? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

5 Comments

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schmidtbag 2nd February 2012, 15:58 Quote
"Sadly, while Windows 8 will support the ARM instruction set architecture, the module's 512MB of memory likely precludes its use."

That's microsoft's damn fault. if they want to target arm then they need to learn how to program better and reduce bloat. even windows xp sp3 is relatively bloated. the only major complaints i had about windows 7 was it was still very bloated (especially 64 bit) and how they stuck with vista's control panel.


Anyways, this product sounds very interesting and depending on how much it costs i'd consider getting it to replace my netbook.
RichCreedy 3rd February 2012, 01:45 Quote
i've just installed win8 on an old laptop 3.0ghz pentium 4 with 768 MB ram and 60GB hd, will let you know how it goes when i get chance to have a play
SaNdCrAwLeR 3rd February 2012, 10:20 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by schmidtbag
"Sadly, while Windows 8 will support the ARM instruction set architecture, the module's 512MB of memory likely precludes its use."

That's microsoft's damn fault. if they want to target arm then they need to learn how to program better and reduce bloat. even windows xp sp3 is relatively bloated. the only major complaints i had about windows 7 was it was still very bloated (especially 64 bit) and how they stuck with vista's control panel.


Anyways, this product sounds very interesting and depending on how much it costs i'd consider getting it to replace my netbook.

do you even know about windows 8's features?
"bloatware" is one of the main things that was reduced... having a windows environment running with only 250-300 MB of RAM is pretty damn impressive.
alialias 3rd February 2012, 16:00 Quote
This is a good idea, but surely the fact that a netbook is really only designed to be used to browse the web, then having a more lean processor onboard to run light tasks such as web browsing negates the need for the x86 processor at all?
fluxtatic 4th February 2012, 07:58 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by alialias
This is a good idea, but surely the fact that a netbook is really only designed to be used to browse the web, then having a more lean processor onboard to run light tasks such as web browsing negates the need for the x86 processor at all?

True, but netbooks are nearly dead anyway, so hopefully enterprising hackers come up with some good ideas for it other places. For my part, I'd be interested in getting one of these for my Brazos board, since the WiFi Mini-PCIe module likely won't do me much good (the USB dongle has to be pointed just so to get that sweet, sweet neighbor-Fi.) Of course, it will need to be able to do cool stuff already before it does me any good...although I wonder how (or even if) it could be made bootable. Anyone know, since I'm frickin lazy and don't want to look it up myself?
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