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Posted on August 27th, 2008 by Mike Jennings

A real Space Oddity arrives at PC Pro

The Space Cube alongside a PSP and mobile phone.

You may remember that, some time ago, I blogged about an interesting little computer curio called the Space Cube. Quite simply, it’s one of the smallest PCs in the world, with each side measuring around 2 inches square. I wrote that it looked cool, ran on a 300MHz processor and that it probably wouldn’t be sold outside of Japan, if at all.

Well, now, we’ve actually gone and got hold of one – the only Space Cube in the UK that’s running Linux, in fact. In the flesh it’s even more impressive than in pictures, inspiring awe and provoking disbelieving reactions across the PC Pro office. It’s actually quite difficult to comprehend just how small the PC is so, for your delectation, we’ve been taking pictures of the Space Cube next to some everyday objects.

So, we’ve established that it’s incredibly, impossibly small. But what’s inside? There’s a surprisingly capable CPU packed away in the tiny chassis with a top clock speed of 300MHz. It’s arrived with us clocked at a slightly more modest 200MHz,but a simple jumper built in to the case enable the processor to be clocked up to either 250MHz or the full 300MHz that it’s capable of.

Dwarfed by a teddy

It’s fair to say that the Space Cube isn’t overloaded with storage space, either. Sixteen megabytes of flash memory is included on-board, and the OS – a version of Red Hat, the popular Linux operating system – runs off a 1GB CompactFlash card that slots into the side of the Space Cube. There’s also 64MB of DDR SDRAM that, admittedly, doesn’t even match up to the lowliest of netbooks – let alone a desktop PC.

The Space Cube’s chassis is, well, a marvel. It’s utterly rock solid and made of metal – we were worried it was going to be a bit of a flimsy plastic prototype – and is clearly able to withstand more than a few knocks up in orbit.

Two sides contain the majority of the ports and sockets that adorn the Cube. A single USB port can easily be used for a hub – instantly adding three or four ports for a keyboard, mouse and more. There’s a VGA output for connecting a monitor, and even a D-SUB RS232 input. And that’s not all. An Ethernet pThe Space Cube with an appleort allows for internet access, and a pair of jacks cater for speakers and headphones – proving that there’s room for a few creature comforts amid the sheer functionality of this remarkable little PC.

There are a couple more unusual ports scattered around the diminutive Space Cube, too. There’s the row of little jumpers that allow for a bit of overclocking – although Crysis may be out of reach – and a small, three-pin serial port. There’s also the all-important CompactFlash slot that allows the OS to run.

Most intriguing, though, is the Space Wire port. It may sound like a mere science fiction fantasy, but this incredibly thin socket is a crucial part of the Space Cube’s armoury. That’s because it’s a type of proprietary interface use by the ESA, NASA and JAXA when the Cube actually goes into space. It’s useful for connecting various sensors and processing units to the Space Cube, as well as the complicated-sounding Downlink Telementary Sub-Systems, which sounds like something more akin to Battlestar Galactica or Star Wars than anything used in real life. It turns out that Space Wire is also used as a common interface for linking together modules and electronics that are often designed in different institutions.

Space Cube with a mug for comparison

For such a small and low-powered PC, the Space Cube is actually pretty nippy when you’re navigating its own flavour of Linux. Bring up the command line and simply type ‘ls /bin’ to reveal a list of the few dozen functions that are available to use with the Space Cube. Typing ‘xclock’ reveals, well, a clock, and entering ‘xeye’ brings up a pair of comedy googly eyes that follow your cursor around the screen. We also speculate that putting a different, suitably low-power version of Linux on the CompactFlash card would allow for that OS to be used instead of the Red Hat that’s installed here. It’s a green machine, too: when running, the Space Cube drew a miniscule 5W from the mains, putting the 36W draw of the Transtec Senyo 610 to shame.

So, what is the Space Cube actually used for? Well, the Space Cube has been developed to control the various electronics that Space Wire connects to and, as such, manage and manipulate everything that’s going on in an interstellar computer network. Pretty cool stuff, I think you’ll agree.

The Red Hat operating system is able to use many common commands that are normally found on more standard Linux PCs. FTP can be used, as well as editors such as vi. GCC is also installed, so code can be compiled into executable programs – although, obviously, the lack of power available will mean that any applications are reasonably frugal in their power demands. The rpm command is also installed, so rpm packages for other applications can also be installed.

In my hand for comparison

So, would you like a Space Cube? Tough luck, at least for the moment. Outside of Japan – where the Cube has been developed by the Shimafuji Corporation – your best bet is to keep watching the Star Dundee website. It’s an offshoot of the Space Systems Research Group of the University of Dundee. They’re planning to sell the Space Cube once a few technical issues are ironed out and, unfortunately, it’ll be a bit more expensive than the price we found before – around $325. Instead, this remarkable PC will probably be going for around £1,500.

Still, we can see amateur robotics and rocket clubs possibly being interested – the open-ended Linux installed here will no doubt prove versatile and able to be used for a variety of suitably scientific purposes.

While we won’t be sending the Cube into space any time soon – there’s certainly not enough junk in the Labs to put together a rocket, at least yet – we’re still absolutely blown away by the tiniest PC we’ve ever seen. It’s pure science fiction blended with real life: a PC that you could practically fit on a key ring that’s been designed to go into space and make rockets work. It’s tiny, brilliant, and astounding, and we’re huge fans.

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110 Responses to “ A real Space Oddity arrives at PC Pro ”

  1. Bob Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Since this is a technical publication, why the marketing photos? Take some close-up photos of the different sides of the cube so it’s easy to see the external connections.

     
  2. Andre Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 2:10 pm

    Is that meant to be £1,500 or £150? If it is the former, then an iPod touch, or something of that variety, would be more attractive if it could be hacked to run Linux. Ignoring the price factor, this is a very tempting computer. If the wattage is low enough this could make a nice basic web server.

     
  3. steve Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 2:12 pm

    2 square inches = a cube 1.41 inches across. Or did you mean it’s a cube 2 inches across?

     
  4. Andre Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Pictures are available on the manufacturer’s web site: http://www.shimafuji.co.jp/product/spacecube01.html

     
  5. Thomas Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    I assume the Space Cube only has 16MB of Flash Memory, not 16 Gigabytes as stated in your current post.

     
  6. Andre Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 2:18 pm

    According to the product documentation it s 64MB of SDRAM and 16MB of flash.

    For people working in the metric system, the dimensions are:52mmx52mmx55mm

     
  7. Mike Jennings Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 2:22 pm

    Hey,

    Thanks for your comments! I’ve corrected the measurements: it’s actually around 2 squares inches per side of the cube and, of course, it’s 16MB of memory, rather than 16GB. My bad.

    And I’ve been assured by Star Dundee that it will be around £1,500 when it’s made available for retail.

    Mike

     
  8. Jtheletter Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 2:23 pm

    The first case mod is obvious: Rubik’s Cube that thing!

     
  9. Billco Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    I wish they’d make something like this with dual LAN jacks. I could make it into the world’s smallest rock-stable firewall appliance :) Death to Linksys!

     
  10. john Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 2:25 pm

    @Steve…

    I am not a math geek, but 2 inches square = 2×2 (2 inches cubed = 2×2x2). This is more of a coloquialism than a mathematical statement.
    If stated as “2 square inches”, you would certainly be correct with 1.41″ x 1.41″.

     
  11. Anonymous Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    LAWL TIHS IS LEIK SO KEWL!!!!

     
  12. Adrian Hall Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    3000 dolalrs? damn, I want one to run starcraft on.

     
  13. andrew Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    “it’s actually around 2 squares inches per side of the cube”

    Type slowly. Do you mean, 2 inches square per cube face? 2 inches per cube edge?

     
  14. Joe Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    Umm, for the amateur robotics guys, or anyone else interested in rugged PCs, try http://www.pcengines.ch. At 500MHz it’’s faster than this box, has more RAM, and with case is around $130 USD. They have a USB/NIC/AUDIO/RS232/VGA version, and a USB/NIC/RS323 version. Mini-pci, yes, but no Space Wire port. Use compact flash as a hard disk and don’t spend $3000 USD when you could spend $130. Thanks, Taiwan!

     
  15. Pete Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Will it really be 3000$ instead of 325$ ??

     
  16. ac Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    @Andre:

    >> For people working in the metric system, the dimensions are:52mmx52mmx55mm

    So pretty much 2 inches cubed, or 8 cubic inches. That would make each side 2 inches squared or 4 square inches.

     
  17. Ragnorok Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 2:53 pm

    - While this Space Cube is certainly spiff, for consumer applications an ALIX or similar runs on the same 5 watts with a 500Mhz processor, 256MB RAM, and may be had with three LAN jacks for a third of the price. I’m not seeing the advantage to the Space Cube except for geek cred … which is certainly something to consider! (grin)

     
  18. bender Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    Most important of all! Will it blend?

     
  19. Gary Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 2:58 pm

    No, each face is NOT 2 square inches, it is two inches square. This is sixth grade math.

    In fact, since the shortest edge is 52 mm, or just over 2 inches, the area of the smallest face is about 4.2 square inches. What’s so hard about 2 x 2 = 4 ?

    BTW, the volume would be about 9.1 cubic inches, or 150 mL.

    =Gary

     
  20. ufoolme Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    This has been around since 2006, its pretty cool. If I could get rtorrent working on it, thats all I need!

     
  21. Jared Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 3:16 pm

    get a bunch of these to build a cluster with.. mmm

     
  22. TimH Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 3:17 pm

    Try NorhTec’s MicroClient Jr at http://www.norhtec.com/products/mcjr/details.html. It’s 115 x 115 x 35 mm, so 3x the volume of Space Cube at 52mm x 2mm x 55mm, but price ranges from $120 to $190 1-off.

     
  23. SilentBen Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Two words – daisy-chain. If the makers of these things are smart, they should make the next version such that you can connect multiples of them like Legos and have them auto-magically bond as a parallel processing array.

     
  24. Raymond Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 3:23 pm

    If you wish to give dimensions, as is customary and no confusion:

    H=2″, W=2″, D=2″ – This you find in most Specifications about an object, to size it.

    Regards, Raymond

     
  25. UX-admin Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 3:24 pm

    The 1st thing that I thought of seeing this technical marvel:

    a whole bunch of these, running (Open)Solaris in an OpenHA cluster, somewhere inside of some rack, humming along in the night…

     
  26. bf Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 3:27 pm

    for about $400, you can get a cell phone that’s in many ways more impressive. The Neo Freerunner (openmoko.com) can run the full ARM port of Debian Linux on a 400 Mhz ARM processor. All 20,000+ applications. There is no rs2332 and no vga out, but you’ll get a small vga screen (640×480), 128MB ram, 256 MB flash, 2d and 3d graphics acceleration, accelerometers, wi-fi, GSM, bluetooth, connector for external gps, audio jack, a great battery, a USB host port, and of course micro SD slot which is where you can install Debian.

    Much more power stingy, and probably a much more interesting device for engineering purposes. 120.7 x 62 x 18.5 mm, which actually makes it *smaller*

     
  27. zmjjmz Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    picotux is smaller, though not as useful.

     
  28. oldfrt Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Flashback! It reminds me of the military ARC-164 UHF tactical aircraft radio circa 1980. Built like a sandwitch in the form of a cube. Damn near indestructable. I’d like to see the sandwitch formfactor become more popular.

     
  29. Stuart Mills - STAR-Dundee Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    For those that are asking about pricing, yes the SpaceCube is likely to cost around £1500. You have to remember that this isn’t a device designed originally for commercial use, but as a prototype of a device to be used onboard Japanese spacecraft. In saying that, if a few thousand of you showed an interest in buying one, Shimafuji may be able to reduce the price :-)

    The great thing about the SpaceCube is that it provides so many different interfaces. We (STAR-Dundee) specialise in SpaceWire equipment, which is how we came to be involved in selling the SpaceCube, and the SpaceCube provides a great little interface to a SpaceWire network. Of course, it can just as easily be used to connect to an Ethernet network, which is why it’s so appealing for so many other purposes.

    For anyone that’s interested, the paper at http://www.spacewire.computing.dundee.ac.uk/proceedings/Papers/Onboard%20Equipment%20and%20Software/takahashi.pdf has more details of the SpaceCube’s use in space missions.

     
  30. Vadim P. Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    “standard Linux PC’s”… hmm, but it has no Compiz!

     
  31. Nero Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    When you say:
    “They?re planning to sell the Space Cube once a few technical issues are ironed out …”

    What kind of technical issues?

    Also, if they actually add an eSATA interface, this thing would give home NAS servers a real run for their money. Ofcourse its power input of 5 volts would have to be raised to allow for eSATA. Adding multiple eSATA ports with additional Hardware RAID would be pushing it.

     
  32. Daviw Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Seriously?

    I bought a Nokia N800 for £150 including postage.
    It has 2x 8Gb SD cards, wifi, runs linux, a touch screen and runs a full Debian distro…
    and it is smaller by volume than the cube.

    Oh, and it’s end-of-life ‘cos it is old tech… no builtin GPS or keyboard like the N810

    Now, as space-hardened electronics running linux – *THAT* is cool!

     
  33. Ryan Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    2 inches square != 2 square inches guys.

    2 inches square = 2in x 2in x 2in

    2 square inches is not a volume. 2 inches square is 8 cubic inches.

     
  34. Ryan Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    Gary beat me to it. I should have kept reading. :)

     
  35. BSHS Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 6:03 pm

    matt4prez@myway.com
    send me what ever you want

     
  36. someguy Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 6:09 pm

    Can someone please run down the inches/square thing again? And end with an insult? I’m not sure we’ve covered it enough yet.

     
  37. Neezer Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 6:10 pm

    It’s kinda-borg like. I want one!

     
  38. I want one... or six Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 6:47 pm

    @Stuart Mills (or any STAR-Dundee rep):

    With a product like this, if you could reduce the price to something more reasonable (~$300US?), I’d wager you could gain a rather large market success for other research endeavors. If it’s the SpaceWire support that drives up the cost, well… I can’t imagine any consumers care too much about that feature since we don’t typically own personal Japanese space rockets.

     
  39. Natasha26 Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    Am not sure what 300 MHz of CPU can do these days… but $1500… count me out! Am sticking to my N810.

    Also, given the level of miniaturisation that went into the Macbook Air motherboard, i can’t say whether the Space Cube’s achievement is that impressive. it’s just cute! :)

     
  40. Oh man... Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Can anyone say “Companion Cube?”

     
  41. measdsad Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 7:14 pm

    I would buy it for 30$ let alone 1500 quid, are these people mad???

     
  42. dwindle Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    Cute, but useless. It has the power of a cell phone, and the price of an IBM server. Buy a $500 lappy and get 40x the power and usefulness.

     
  43. rGlory Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    > I wish they’d make something like this with dual LAN jacks. I could make it into the world’s > smallest rock-stable firewall appliance :) Death to Linksys!

    You do not have to spend $3000 for this purpose. I bought this baby http://www.gumstix.com/ (which is even smaller as it’s name says it has size of a gum) expendable and does have dual 100Mbit ethernet as option and works for me without any problems for about a year now.

     
  44. Christopher Webber Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    bender:

    I’m almost certainly that Blender can run at 300MHz… it’s a pretty lean app ;)

     
  45. David Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 8:04 pm

    How much does it weigh?

    BTW, for those saying they wouldn’t pay $30 for it, did you not read the article?

    This comp is not designed for consumers, it’s designed to go into space. Sending anything into space costs between $10,000 and $20,000 per KG. When the cost of launch is built in, this device is a bargain at $1,500 because it saves FAR more than $1,500 in launch costs.

    Anyway, why should it surprise anyone that a computer built for use in space is expensive?

     
  46. sven-ola Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 8:17 pm

    Hey,

    small history lesson. A couple of years ago, meshcube where around in our community for wifi meshing – mostly olsr and freifunk. 300mhz mips, 64mb RAM, 32Mb Flash, USB1 port. Build on AMD/Alchemy. 2 *MiniPCI Slots*. Around 200 Euros. Not avail any more (company has dropped prod. line). Pics: http://images.google.de/images?q=meshcube

     
  47. Matt Davis Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    Mike;

    Call me at 972 505 3006 and I show you a device with more horse power, memory and capabilities and best of all, smaller…..

    Matt Davis
    Chip PC

     
  48. ch3mwrx Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 8:22 pm

    that’s the pwn.. hands down… A linux pc in my pocket??? haha the only thing i would prefer over that is my Nokia N800 because it already has a monitor.

     
  49. Vika Uljanova Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 8:25 pm

    This one comes very close to the SPS systems that are used in factory robots.

    I think this suff would be very successful, if the ports and APIs become standartized.

     
  50. Owen Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    I currently have a NSLU2 which if I cracked it out its case or did some modifications it would have a smaller surface area than this. I’ve seen it before and don’t get me wrong, think it is cool but wont be buying one for ~$300
    My NSLU2 has a 1GB Flashdrive is around 266MHz, has two USB ports and a network port. It also only cost me $100.

    Read more about it here: http://www.thelinuxblog.com/linksys-nslu2-linux-box/
    and at nslu22-linux.org

     
  51. henry Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 8:51 pm

    Very impressive, but I’d rather use a palm PC which isn’t too much bigger then it, has a touch screen and a tiny keyboard. I don’t see a product like this going to the market until it gets up to more standard levels of power. (2-4 gigs of ram, 500 gbs to 1 tb, etc etc etc.)

     
  52. Agamemnon Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 9:03 pm

    It’s an english-english v. american-english problem, I guess. Like the way you call them
    “lorries” and we call them “elevator shoes”. Anyway, over here we would call it a
    ‘two inch cube”.

     
  53. Agamemnon Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 9:06 pm

    Oops, remind me not to hit the return key next time.

     
  54. Jim Jazz Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 9:56 pm

    Will a serial port fit on it? How will I plug my printer in? …

     
  55. Peter Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    it’s…so…preetttyyyy………spaaaaaaace cuuuuuuuuube…..

     
  56. Peter Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 10:57 pm

    I must ask- why a cube? If ports are on 2 sides, the desktop cannot then be placed efficiently into a wall or something of that nature easily… why not a space slab, that has all connections on one side and is the same volume, but different dimensions? It could slide into the wall.

     
  57. KaYPeE Says:
    August 27th, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Can you guys imagine something… “A WEARABLE PERSONAL COMPUTER” !!!!!!
    It’ll be like walking around with the computer screen on your sunglasses! Activated by voice commands! JUST LIKE IRON MAN~~!! Didn’t anyone think of this???

     
  58. BoredQuiz Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 12:22 am

    I wish we could see pics of it plugged in

     
  59. jframe Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 12:37 am

    can you imagine a beowulf cluster of these?

     
  60. mike ike Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 1:28 am

    The author wrote “2 squares inches per side of the cube” in his clarification comment, but it seems that people here are saying it is 2″x2″x2″. Are you guys saying the author has bad info on it, or are you just guessing he meant something else?

    And is Ryan joking when he says “2 inches square = 2in x 2in x 2in”? All these people, are jumping in to clarify but I think they are confused. The author said in the article 2 inches square is the measurement PER SIDE. I think the author is confused too. So am I. Please help if you know what’s right here (but please don’t try if you are guessing).

     
  61. jeannie kong Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 2:02 am

    Help to spread the word about free ecommence-ahhge.com
    No store fee. No insertion fee acution site

    Thanks

    Jeannie

     
  62. The Steven Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 2:09 am

    I’m guessing that most of you are not familiar with the PC/104 form factor. “Little Cubic Computers” are nothing new.

     
  63. Dave Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 2:33 am

    I’d like to wrap a housing like that around an http://www.beagleboard.org OMAP3 system!

     
  64. jimmy!! Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 2:51 am

    TAKE IT APART TAKE IT APART TAKE IT APART

     
  65. Maurice Kelly Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 3:01 am

    I think this is a really good device for those who are on the road and want to be really light but able to get the same amount of work down if you have a desk top. I would love to have something like this when I’m on the road….

     
  66. pligg.com Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 3:24 am

    Space Cube – 2 寸電腦…

    2 寸電腦…

     
  67. pligg.com Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 3:32 am

    Space Cube – 2 寸電腦…

    Space Cube – 2 寸電腦…

     
  68. Electrical Engineer Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 3:57 am

    “ac Says” is the only one who got the mathematics correct.

    Here, in the United States of America, we say it simply as “it is a cube, 2 inches on a side” or “it is a cube, 2 inches on an edge.”

    “…Quite simply, it’s one of the smallest PCs in the world, with each side measuring around 2 inches square.”
    – quotation of the author

    I would have said, “…around two inches squared.” (note the use of the participle, squared.)

    I must agree: it is very difficult to write a technical article — the English language seems to clash with the mathematics.

    Cheers.

     
  69. Gram Chapman Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 4:22 am

    I wanted to be the 100th person to show off my knowledge about how to calculate volume!

    “Found them? In Mercia? The coconut’s tropical!”

     
  70. pROFESSOR kAYYOS Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 4:45 am

    Once and for all let’s settlte the dimension squabble. The cube is approximately the size of a month old head of cabbage. Let’s leave it at that

     
  71. Graham White: My Notes Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 7:03 am

    Choosing the media server…

    The decision of which media server to go with has easily been the longest and most agonising while putting together new audio solution at home. I’m not the only one at work having recently been looki……

     
  72. שווה קריאה Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 7:59 am

    המחשב האישי הקטן בעולם…

    ראיתם פעם מחשב אישי (PC) רגיל לחלוטין בגודל מזערי? אמנם המחשב לא משתווה למחשבי PC רגילים מבחינת חוזק מעבד, זיכרון ואיכסון, אבל המחשב הקטן הזה מ…

     
  73. Web 2.0 Announcer Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 9:13 am

    A real Space Oddity arrives at PC Pro | PC Pro blog…

    [...][...]…

     
  74. VMN Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 10:47 am

    This was the “Teacube” (T-Engine PC) in an earlier incarnation:

    http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS4228247530.html

    Cringely had an article back in 2005 about a “Google Cube”:

    http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/2005/pulpit_20051124_000474.html

    Now Google has Android, and there seem to be several ARM platforms for it.

    Go figure the Android Cube!

     
  75. nicomo Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 11:15 am

    Any chance of us having a look at the insides?

     
  76. VMN Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 11:30 am

    http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS3619879482.html

     
  77. nicomo Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 11:39 am

    [img]http://www.linuxdevices.com/files/misc/shimafuji_semc5701_board.jpg[/img]

    http://www.linuxdevices.com/files/misc/shimafuji_semc5701_board-sm.jpg

    Could this be the insides?

    I have no idea – maybe some ‘Terry Pratchett’ type demon is in there working away with some buddies?

     
  78. Stuart Mills - STAR-Dundee Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Just to answer some of the questions above?

    Re: reducing pricing, I?m afraid this isn?t something we have much control over; this is mainly down to Shimafuji. We aren?t a company that traditionally sells to consumers, and frankly wouldn?t have the resources to cope with selling large volumes of a low cost device.

    With regards to the suggestion that the SpaceCube would cost around $300, I think this must have stemmed from a misunderstanding in a post here: http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/pcs/space-cube-in-the-wild-171244.php. I think the price suggested may have actually been 300,000 Yen.

    As for getting pictures of the insides of the SpaceCube, it?s not an easy thing to get into (it?s a very solid piece of kit). I can tell you it consists of a number of circuit boards layered on top of one another (similar to the SEMC5701A above, but with more layers, I think), though, and it weighs less than 200g.

    And finally it does have a serial port for plugging in your printer (as well as the USB port), although the serial port?s more useful for connecting to a PC so that the SpaceCube can be controlled from a terminal running on the PC.

     
  79. getoss.com Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    Space Cube,世界最小Linux PC…

    Space Cube,称得上是世界最小的全功能PC。 Space Cube本来是为太空任务设计的,它设法将USB端口,读卡器、音频输出和专门的私有接口全都塞到一个立方体盒子中,底盘大小仅为2平方英寸。这台…

     
  80. VMN Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    Hi,

    I played with the Teacube at a trade show in Singapore at least 3 or 4 years ago. Really not much to it save for some clever arrangement of the different boards and connectors.

    While this thread did start with the SpaceCube, Shumafuji and Star Dundee, please Google for Teacube and its datasheets and images, because that was clearly a consumer platform to run TRON.

    I don’t see any difficulty to bring a ARM-powered Teacube to market at sub-$200 in high volume.

     
  81. Raoul Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Minuscule!

     
  82. Professional Website Design Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    It does seem like a rather fun device in the “I’d love to have one and then not actually use it” kind of way.

    I wasn’t aware of the BeagleBoard and that looks like it could be really fun to play with and of course £75 is more approachable.

    Nick

     
  83. Rhakios Says:
    August 28th, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    “Space Cube has been developed to control the various electronics that Space Wire connects to and, as such, manage and manipulate everything that’s going on in an interstellar computer network.”

    Personally, I can only say that if it can manage an interstellar computer network, then it would be worth every penny of £3000. Nice to have cracked that niggling little FTL problem.

     
  84. Jonathan Says:
    August 29th, 2008 at 12:52 am

    http://www.gumstix.com/

    Just sayin’

     
  85. meneame.net Says:
    August 29th, 2008 at 1:01 am

    EL PC con Linux más pequeño del mundo (ING)…

    "Space Cube" es probablemente el PC con Linux más pequeño del mundo, cabe en la palma de una mano. Viene con un CPU de 300 MHz, 64MB de memoria DDR SDRAM, 1 GB de almacenamiento en tarjeta CompactFlash y puertos, desde VGA para tu monitor h…

     
  86. Melv Says:
    August 29th, 2008 at 5:15 am

    a tiny piece of creativity

     
  87. robert Says:
    August 29th, 2008 at 6:20 am

    it looks really good

     
  88. Bystroushaak Says:
    August 29th, 2008 at 10:08 am

    He is nice.

     
  89. gasd Says:
    August 29th, 2008 at 5:47 pm

    nice
    http://www.dualx.net/mobiles/nokia-n85-c-10-ngage-igrami.html

     
  90. Smarter than Steve Says:
    August 29th, 2008 at 5:53 pm

    Learn to use your scroll bar.

     
  91. me2 Says:
    August 29th, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    ever hear of pc104.. google it

     
  92. Michiel Says:
    August 30th, 2008 at 4:00 pm

    - As a radiation hardened device this could also be used on earth for nuclear plant robotics (think Tsjernobil and decomissioning nuclear reactors).
    - Since this is MIPS based I would suggest marketing it as an embedded size version of the Cobalt Qube which I believe still has a cult-like enthousiast following despite (or perhaps because of) the lack of new hardware. Non-radiation hardened version for price reasons of course.
    - As a thin client it is a bit pricey, but at least the case is cute which seems to be a selling point. Hopefuly we will see more of this kind of hardware on earth. Perhaps someone will find a way to put an OMAP3530 (cfr beagleboard.org) in such a cube for more graphic and processing power.
    Nice article and fully agreeing with the conclusion : brilliant!
    P.S. I found this via http://linuxdevices.com/news/NS3086169218.html

     
  93. Kathy Mead Says:
    August 31st, 2008 at 2:02 pm

    It’s expensive to me….

     
  94. anus-apert.us Blog Says:
    August 31st, 2008 at 11:25 pm

    Space Cube – neuer Formfaktor?…

    Die japanische Firma Shimafuji hat wohl einen der kleinsten PCs, wenn nicht sogar den kleinsten, entwickelt. Der winzige Würfel hat eine Kantenlänge von gerade einmal 5cm, aber immerhin einen 300
    MHz Prozessor. Mit 64MBbyte RAM, einem USB-Port, Aud…

     
  95. martha Says:
    September 1st, 2008 at 6:58 am

    considering its functionality, its quite expensive…

    ————
    http://www.dissertation-help.co.uk/dissertation_editing.htm

     
  96. Polerit Says:
    September 1st, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    All certainly is class but I cannot understand, value of the given working out it all the same not the portable

     
  97. Han Says:
    September 2nd, 2008 at 6:58 am

    Any details about the processor? Is it ARM, MIPS, x86 or something else? Just the frequency itself doesn’t mean anything.

     
  98. David King Says:
    September 3rd, 2008 at 12:55 am

    What is the length of each side in millimetres?

     
  99. Rikishi 42 Says:
    September 4th, 2008 at 11:21 pm

    Cute thing.
    But there are batteries in it, it seems.

    So, guess it’s an external power source.
    Wouldn’t that typically be about the same size at the cube itself ?

     
  100. Rikishi 42 Says:
    September 4th, 2008 at 11:22 pm

    I meant NO batt’s, of course.

     
  101. Arman Says:
    September 11th, 2008 at 1:59 pm

    to Han
    I guess it is NEC
    http://www.shimafuji.co.jp/product/spacecube01.html

     
  102. tramadol Says:
    September 24th, 2008 at 8:27 pm

    tramadol…

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  103. teczki Says:
    September 27th, 2008 at 7:00 pm

    Blog is super

     
  104. radio controlled wall clock Says:
    November 1st, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    radio controlled wall clock…

    I have been searching for sites have content related to radio control racing hobbies to tell them about the Engine Analysis Software for tuning all Nitro RC Engines….

     
  105. voice activated computer software Says:
    November 6th, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    voice activated computer software…

    I never thought I will agree with this opinion, but you know… I agree partially now…

     
  106. gps modules Says:
    November 12th, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    gps modules…

    Some weblog software programs, such as Wordpress, Movable Type and Community Server, support automatic pingbacks where all the links…

     
  107. julie Says:
    November 28th, 2008 at 8:29 am

    well, they are expensive. and a lot expensive actually.
    link building service

     
  108. allaun Says:
    December 8th, 2008 at 8:34 am

    Something a little more useful and a hell of a lot cheaper. http://www.techchee.com/2007/04/22/vias-smallest-motherboard-in-the-world/

     
  109. Juan Carlos Herrera Says:
    December 9th, 2008 at 12:40 am

    Hi, I just love this computer where can I get one? do any of you smart geeks know a US shipping website where they can sell this?
    Thanks,
    j.c.h@me.com

     
  110. Nazia Says:
    December 15th, 2008 at 11:27 am

    This product are very best technology. The attach of this 64MB of SDRAM and 16MB of flash. It is very useful and lot cheaper.

     

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