At CES, Intel has showed off the Edison, a dual-core computer that's the size of an SD card. While Intel is promoting the device primarily for wearable applications, it could also offer new approaches for server-side computing as well.
It's a dual-core system with a 400MHz large core and a variable smaller core that clocks between 50MHz and 200MHz. The model showed off has 500MB of RAM, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built-in. That makes it much lower-powered than contemporary servers, but somewhat gruntier than similar compact computer designs such as the Raspberry Pi.
As our colleague Luke Hopewell reports over at Gizmodo, Intel's initial demos have focused on consumer applications such as a "smart coffee cup". However, as the Edison is apparently capable of running multiple Linux variants, it could also prove useful for specific types of embedded servers. After all, the Raspberry Pi makes an effective personal VPN. The biggest restriction will be the lack of high-speed I/O.
Intel hasn't specified a price, and the release date is no firmer than "mid-year". However, we'll be keen to check this out when it becomes available.