Business, Hardware

Shuttle announces laptop independence

Today, if your notebook dies, you are faced with the dilemma that no two notebook motherboards are the same. That immediately raises the cost of getting your notebook fixed. Today at CES, Shuttle announced a solution ?  their notebook motherboard standards.

Shuttle's open notebook platform
Shuttle’s open notebook platform

Shuttle’s true standardization is based on their notebook ecosystem which features two products: the SPA and Micro SPA. They are designed to offer clients a complete line up from entry-level through top-of-the-line notebooks. The SPA series motherboards are meant for mainstream notebooks from 13.3 inch display screens up to 22 inch display screens. The SPA features power-saving integrated graphics or performance-oriented discrete graphics. The Micro SPA series motherboards are geared towards entry-level notebooks from 10.1 inch display screens through larger standard notebooks. It also comes with power-saving integrated graphics or performance-oriented discrete graphics.

MicroSPA series cover current and upcoming platforms from AMD and Intel
MicroSPA series cover current and upcoming platforms from AMD and Intel

All this standardization means hardware features can be cost amortized over more units. It also means that limited production notebook cases, ultra high-res displays, and specialty media can be added without affecting the motherboard configuration. You could upgrade your motherboard to the latest performance level without getting rid of the case, keyboard, or power supply.

The motherboards will be able to handle Intel, AMD, and VIA chips. Shuttle is also offering is own USB, power management, display, and other technologies for SPA and Micro SPA boards. In March, Shuttle is launching a site that will make it easy for companies to order the components they need to build their system.

David Chen, President and CEO at Shuttle, said "With the new notebook standard, local OEMs will have more control over the product design and overall cost, resulting in a product that’s more market competitive than ever before. It’s a game changing strategy and we’re confident in our coming business growth."

PC makers won?t need to purchase the motherboards from Shuttle. Pretty much anyone can use the standard, which should make it much easier to develop PC components that will work in a wide variety of netbooks, should the platform really take off. Shuttle is hoping to make its money by certifying products.

OEM design wins

On the Shuttle website you can build your own notebook configuration starting with size, chipset, and quantities. The Shuttle Computer Group in Los Angeles will be the North American contact. There is additional information at their press announcement.

BSN* is looking forward to testing the first generation of Shuttle’s new ecosystem products.