cupp 2 CUPP Computing shows off working setup at Computex

We wrote about Norwegian CUPP Computing a few days before Computex and we meet up with them at the last day of the show for a quick hands on with their new setup. Although we didn't actually get to fondle the PunkThis board, as it was hidden away in a perspex box, the company also had a fully working, tricked out Asus netbook that was used to demo the board.

We wrote about Norwegian CUPP Computing a few days before Computex and we meet up with them at the last day of the show for a quick hands on with their new setup. Although we didn't actually get to fondle the PunkThis board, as it was hidden away in a perspex box, the company also had a fully working, tricked out Asus netbook that was used to demo the board.

The netbook is Asus' Eee PC 1015PN and it's the first solderless solution for the PunkThis board. This is by no means meant to be a retail ready solution though, instead it's targeting developers that want to get their hands on a solution that makes it easy for them to develop for various ARM operating systems. The core of the PunkThis board is a TI DM3730 SoC which is a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 based CPU. It's been paired up with 512MB of RAM and there's a micro SD card slot for storage memory and another micro SD card slot that acts as shared storage between the ARM and x86 platforms.

cupp 1 CUPP Computing shows off working setup at Computex

CUPP claims 20h worth of battery life using the PunkThis board over the Atom N550 CPU fitted in the Eee PC, although you'd be “limited” to using either Ubuntu or Android 2.3 at the moment, but the platform is open, so any OS that supports the SoC will work. Other features include Wi-Fi, USB ToGo support, a USB host port, a programmable keyboard controller and audio I/O.  The board interfaces with most of the external ports on the netbook as well.

However, CUPP is also working on a desktop enclosure for the PunkThis board which should arrive sometime in September. This will offer DVI pass-through connectivity, five USB 2.0 ports, audio I/O, an SD card slot and a headphone jack. This would once again be targeting developers, but it should work out as a more affordable solution than having to buy an entire netbook.

cupp 2 CUPP Computing shows off working setup at Computex

The PunkThis board should retail for less than US$200 and should start mass production sometime in July.  This is just the start though, as CUPP's goal is to work with the large notebook manufacturers and get its solution built into notebooks as a standard feature. As such it would also cost a lot less than the PunkThis board, although this would of course depend on the ARM SoC used. In as much as CUPP is currently offering a total solution, the long term goal is to license the switching hardware that makes it possible to switch between the x86 and ARM platforms on the fly.

The company also has a lot of other ideas and even ended up getting some rather unusual requests during Computex for what some potential customers wanted to use it for. The long term goal for CUPP is somewhat more complex and might never happen, as it involves what the company refers to as CISS or CUPP Integrated Southbridge System. CISS would only be possible if Intel or AMD got on board, as it involves integrating a low power processor into the chipset of the x86 platform. However, the selling point here goes beyond just switching between two platforms, as CISS could also be set up to act as a firewall, a feature that is lacking on notebooks and a feature that could be very popular with large corporations. It will be interesting to see how things develop for CUPP and we'll be keeping a close eye on them and whatever partners they team up with.