MEGA-NEAT micro computer

FXI Cotton Candy is an ARM PC in a USB stick

Nov. 18, 2011 (11:31 am) By: Matthew Humphries

Next month we see the first release of the Raspberry Pi $25 PC in kit form. The final units will follow in 2012. They aren’t the only ones developing a tiny PC though, and competition is starting to appear that could equal it on size and outperform it in the performance stakes.

One such competitor is called Cotton Candy and is set to be offered by Norwegian company FXI Technologies. Inside a USB stick that measures 8 x 2.5cm and weighs just 21 grams, FXI have managed to cram a 1.2GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor, 1GB RAM, an ARM Mali-400MP GPU, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI, USB 2.0, and a Micro SD card reader supporting up to 64GB cards. The operating system can be either Android or a Linux distribution. There’s also a virtualization client for running Windows, Linux, and Mac instances.

Now before you say “Raspberry Pi beater,” the Cotton Candy does have one major disadvantage in the form of its price, which is currently only set as below $200. That suggests it’s going to be significantly more expensive than the $25 PC arriving next month.

The FXI Cotton Candy may be the more desirable pocket PC due to its better spec, but also because it has been setup as a cloud connected machine. Once plugged in you can control it wirelessly with a keyboard or mouse, or even your mobile phone. It has Wi-Fi on board meaning an Internet connection requires no other kit. And it has a link to cloud storage meaning you can work and store your files securely either on a Micro SD card or directly online. The other major benefit is you can plug it into any PC or display and turn it into a computer running the operating system you want.

We can expect the Cotton Candy to become available by the middle of 2012, and hopefully for much less than the sub-$200 price point being suggested. At $99 I think it would fly off the shelves, don’t you?

Read more at FXI and