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USB stick packs ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, runs Android or Ubuntu

Nov 18, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 7 views

[Updated, Nov. 21] — FXI Technologies announced a USB stick-sized computer that can run Android or Ubuntu on a 1.2GHz Samsung ARM Cortex-A9 processor. The “Cotton Candy” will include 1GB of RAM, a microSD slot, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and an HDMI port, the company says.

Based in Trondheim, Norway, FXI has created a PC that looks like a large USB stick, with a USB port on one end and an HDMI port on the other. If the concept seems familiar, you may be recalling the announcement of the Raspberry Pi earlier this year, though that device has now become credit-card-sized (it's set for release next month, with an ARM11-based Broadcom BCM2835 on board and a $25 price tag).

According to FXI, the Cotton Candy (below) will include a dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 CPU clocked at 1.2GHz, with a Mali 400MP graphics processor. While the company didn't specify the CPU's manufacturer, it's probably a Samsung Exynos 4210 (eagle-eyed reader Guillaume Fortaine spotted a mention of that chip in a resume posted by FXI's VP of Engineering and tipped us off).

The Cotton Candy will also feature 1GB of RAM. A microSD slot will be capable of holding up to 64GB of flash memory, the company adds.

The Cotton Candy
(Click to enlarge)

As the image makes clear, the Cotton Candy — which measures approximately 3.1 x 1 inches — will have both HDMI and USB ports. The latter supplies power to the device and allows it to be accessed from another PC as a mass storage device, making file transfer simple.

Unusually, the Cotton Candy is apparently designed to channel video over its USB port, too. By running a Linux, Windows, or OS X client application, users will be able to interact with the Candy, making it a "private computer within your, or anybody's computer," FXI promises.

The Cotton Candy being controlled from a Mac (left) and PC (right)

The Candy's own operating system will be either Android (version 2.3 is shown in the video below) or Ubuntu, according to FXI. The device will have both 802.11b/g/n wireless networking and Bluetooth 2.1, the company adds.

A demonstration of the Cotton Candy
Source: YouTube user "thecline"
(click to play)


As far as we could determine, FXI has not released pricing or a shipment date for the Cotton Candy, though a Nov. 18 item on suggested it will be available in the second half of 2012 for under $200. More information can be found on the FXI Technology website.

Jonathan Angel can be reached at [email protected] and followed at

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