Intel kills the Compute Card, a small-form-factor modular computing product that didn't stick

Intel said Thursday that it will sell out existing inventory of its small, modular Compute Cards but make no further investments.

Mark Hachman Mar 25th 2019

Intel’s Compute Cards always felt like an odd response to the push toward smaller form-factor computing, and the market apparently agreed: Intel said Thursday it has decided to discontinue development.

Compute Cards, first launched in 2017, were little bigger than a credit card and several times thicker. The self-contained modular computing card contained one of four Intel processors, from a Celeron up to a Core i5, plus memory and storage.

The first clue that Compute Cards were in jeopardy came from NexDock, which developed a modular laptop shell, the NexDock 1, that was powered by your phone. (The company launched during a period when Microsoft’s Continuum environment was in vogue, in conjunction with a Windows Phone.)  A similar device, known as the NexPad, was powered by a Compute Card and has now been discontinued, NexDock said, because of the uncertainty from Intel.

Intel, however, said that it’s made a decision: Compute Cards are no more.

“We continue to believe modular computing is a market where there are many opportunities for innovation,” the company said in a statement. “However, as we look at the best way to address this opportunity, we’ve made the decision that we will not develop new Compute Card products moving forward. We will continue to sell and support the current Compute Card products through 2019 to ensure our customers receive the support they need with their current solutions, and we are thankful for their partnership on this change.”

NexDock has gone on to announce the NexDock 2, a tablet that uses an Android phone to duplicate its screen within a laptop environment. The Kickstarter project has already achieved its funding goals.