Having already branched out into web hosting (opens in new tab) and cloud storage (opens in new tab), Alibaba Cloud has unveiled a palm-sized personal computer called Wuying.
Launched at the annual Aspara Conference, the device weighs only 60g and piggybacks on Alibaba Cloud backend, offering “high-performance computing”. In other words, it's a thin client (opens in new tab) with a different form factor.
We don’t yet know what’s inside, but it is likely to be an ARM-based system-on-chip with some memory and storage, not unlike what's inside an average smartphone. It will be available to enterprise customers and potentially end users too.
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“In the 2K resolution environment, data latency can be reduced to within 70ms, reaching the lowest level in the industry. In the cloud environment, a single instance can offer up to 104 virtual CPU and 1.5TB virtual memory," Alibaba said in a statement to TechRadar Pro.
"The edge [Wujing] is not battery-powered, but powered by USB-C connection. The cloud computer can be connected to displays via USB-C, and connect to the network via Wi-Fi. It will be only available in the China market at the moment.”
We don’t know what sort of CPU will be included in the package; the only metrics Alibaba provided was that they managed to cut the rendering time for one high resolution frame by 90%.
Crucially, though, you will be able to access Windows and “licensed apps and programs”, which may mean heavyweights like Microsoft 365 (opens in new tab) and Adobe Photoshop - so more desktop-as-a-service (opens in new tab) than just remote desktop (opens in new tab).
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