Google partners with Asus to develop credit card-sized computers
Asus said that it will showcase the first batch of Tinker Board computers at the IoT Technology 2019 conference in Japan on November 20. AnandTech

Imagine computers of the size of credit cards. It would be small, but very convenient and portable. Well, Google is planning to launch such computers very soon. The tech giant has partnered with Taiwan-based multinational computer and phone hardware and electronics company, Asus, to develop credit card-sized single-board computers called 'Tinker Board'.

The new computers will be primarily meant for Artificial Intelligence (AI) apps. Asus said that it will showcase the first batch of Tinker Board computers at the IoT Technology 2019 conference in Japan on November 20.

Asus is set to launch two variants of the Tinker Board computers – Tinker Edge T and Tinker Edge R. According to a report published in the online computer hardware magazine AnandTech, while Tinker Edge T is based on the NXP i.MX8M processor with an Edge TPU chip, Tinker Edge R is powered by the Rockchip RK3399 Pro Processor. The variants will also include active cooling along with input-output ports like HDMI, USB 3.0 and Gigabit Ethernet port.

According to Asus, both the variants of the Tinker Board computers are high-speed AI edge computing and lower power consumption. These devices can also obtain images from the camera in real time for AI processing. It can recognize people and objects from every corner of the room. The device also has a small camera with a wide-angle lens with a viewing angle of 187 degrees.

Asus says devices are very energy efficient

Tinker Board's design is inspired by and based on The Raspberry Pi, a series of small single-board computers developed in the United Kingdom by the charity organization Raspberry Pi Foundation. The Raspberry Pi is a low-cost, credit card-sized computer, designed to promote teaching of basic computer science in schools and developing countries.

The pricing, release and availability of the Tinker Edge variants will be confirmed at the November 20 event.