The unveiling yesterday by Linaro of a development board built by Samsung for under $199 should be yet another sign that there is a small but growing market for ARM-based motherboards.
Many system on chip manufacturers have started to build affordable motherboards for developers; TI's Pandaboard, Qualcomm's Dragonboard, Samsung's Origen and soon ST-Ericsson's Snowball have all been launch over the last six months, showing a clear demand for such products.
Back in March 2011, we reported that component manufacturers polled at Cebit were considering ARM-based products for Windows 8, which may be a catalyst for a more widespread adoption of ARM in the non-mobile market.
That comes with its own sets of obstacles though (compatibility with existing hardware and software, not futureproof) but the prospects of having an all integrated, all dancing motherboard with GbE, SPDIF, HDMI, VGA, audio out, SD Card reader, SATA, support for 3D, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS, 3G Modem, NFC and mobile TV tuner, for under £100, is all too enticing.
After all, if Apple TV, which is essentially, a motherboard with memory, a remote control and onboard storage, costs £101 at Apple, then the board alone is likely to cost a lot less and would be the perfect foundation for cheap, cloud-based computers.