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Modular smartphones could be reused as computer clusters

26/01/2015 by Sharon Shahzad


Circular Devices is already thinking beyond just its Puzzlephone concept

The promise of modular smartphones like Google's Project Ara is that buyers will be able to upgrade components at will -- and now Finnish company Circular Devices has come up with a use for discarded computing modules.

Circular Devices is working on its own modular smartphone concept, Puzzlephone, and hopes to ship working products before the end of the year even though it hasn't yet released a prototype.

The idea behind the Puzzlephone and Project Ara is to increase the longevity of smartphones and reduce waste in the process. With the Puzzlecluster platform, Circular Devices is aiming to take waste reduction one step further.

"It makes no sense to discard a perfectly working computer just because you have upgraded your smartphone. The Puzzlecluster will extend the usable life of the Brain modules way beyond any other smartphone processor," Alejandro Santacreu, CEO at Circular Devices, said in a blog post on Saturday.

The Brain module includes the CPU, which will help power the clusters. The plan is also to reuse old battery modules for back-up power. Drawings of the Puzzlecluster architecture show a chassis with slots for the reused modules, which can then be interconnected with others to create the cluster. Just one unit could also be used as a desktop computer.

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