Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How Mini PCs Work


Author's Note

I loved the idea behind the Raspberry Pi computer as soon as I heard about it. A low-cost, no-frills machine designed to encourage students to learn programming is brilliant. Then I learned of other tiny computers like FXI Technologies' Cotton Candy or Aliexpress's Rikomagic computers. Now we can fit dozens of components -- including WiFi and Bluetooth chips -- on a small circuit board along with the basic components of a computer. I hope this means that more people will have access to basic computers and I can't wait to see what comes next.

Related Articles

Sources

  • Avery, Ron. "ENIAC." Philadelphia Oddities. 2010. (July 1, 2012) http://www.ushistory.org/oddities/eniac.htm
  • Howe, Tom. "1947: Invention of the Transistor." CED Magic. 2012. (July 1, 2012) http://www.cedmagic.com/history/transistor-1947.html
  • Humphries, Matthew. "Game developer David Braben creates a USB stick PC for $25." Geek.com. May 5, 2011. (July 1, 2012) http://www.geek.com/articles/games/game-developer-david-braben-creates-a-usb-stick-pc-for-25-2011055/
  • Kozierok, Charles M. "Read-Only Memory (ROM)." The PC Guide. April 17, 2001. (July 1, 2012) http://www.pcguide.com/ref/ram/typesROM-c.html
  • Moore, Gordon E. "Cramming more components onto integrated circuits." Electronics. April 19, 1965. Vol. 38, No. 8.
  • PBS. "Transistorized!" 1999. (July 1, 2012) http://www.pbs.org/transistor/album1/index.html
  • Piltch, Avram. "$74 PC on a USB Stick Sold Out (for Now)." Scientific American. May 22, 2012 (July 1, 2012) http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=74-pc-on-a-usb-stick-sold-out-for-now
  • Piltch, Avram. "Entire Computer Built Into USB Thumb Drive." Fox News. Nov. 20, 2011. (July 1, 2012) http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2011/11/20/entire-computer-built-into-usb-thumb-drive/
  • Raspberry Pi. "FAQs." (July 1, 2012) http://www.raspberrypi.org/faqs

More to Explore