Meet the CuBox-I, a Palestinian Founded $45 PC that Runs Linux and Android
Meet SolidRun, a start-up headed by two Palestinians from Nazareth in occupied Palestine in 1948, has developed a $45 PC Cubox-I that can do almost anything a big computer can do – with all design and manufacturing done in “Israel.”
The Palestinian founders are Kossay Omary as CEO and CTO Rabeeh Khoury founded the company on 2010 .SolidRun is completely bootstrapped.
The Cubox-I can be used for all sorts of things a regular PC can be used for – dedicated or general purpose – and save loads of energy, because it can replace computers that require a lot more power. Cubox-I can run both Linux and Android.
The CuBox-I, which SolidRun recently introduced, is the second iteration of its CuBox series. The first computer, which has been in use since 2011, is being used in a wide variety of scenarios.
It can be used as a TV setup- box or Android TV Box, Attaching the CuBox-i with Android capabilities to your television enables you to check email, browse the web, update Facebook and share content on your TV screen. The CuBox-i with Android can also be used as a point of sale terminal, to power digital signage, and for many other practical applications.
Also it can be used for Open Source Applications, Bundled with open source SDK, it can be used for multiple embedded usage scenarios. One example is image processing using OpenCL 1.1 GPGPU, and ARM neon extensions. You can install Android or Linux, Python, Perl, compilers, IDEs, and media players – any open source application available!
Moreover it can be used as entertainment hub and a Pocket PC, CuBox-i can run Lite Desktop and infinite open source applications, making it the most useful mini computer to carry to meetings and presentations. Simply connect it to a keyboard and screen or projector to access your files and harness the CuBox-i’s impressive processing power.
Other scenarios to use CuBox-I is in Home automation to control the lights and services, digital signage, in which a computer controls displays and monitors.
The platform supports XMBC, an open source media application that lets users stream music or video to TVs or other displays, offering far more flexibility and capabilities than devices like Apple TV, Apple Airport Express, and Google Chromecast.
Weighing 91 grams (0.2lb, 3.2oz), with a size of 2x2x2 inches, the new CuBox-I can do what its CuBox ancestor could, but SolidRun managed to get its costs down – from the $119.99 retail price tag of the CuBox, to the $45 that the CuBox-I will cost consumers. And the CuBox series has some pretty strong features. For example, it can support full streaming and decoding of full-screen 1080p video (using that same 3 watts of power) – a trick that Intel processors only just recently learned, said Khoury to “Times of Israel” . It also has a HDMI 1080p Output, gigabit-speed Ethernet, built in wifi, connections for external storage (microSD, eSATA), USB ports, infrared – and up to four cores on its Freescale iMX6 SoC ARM processor.
“our $45 CuBox-I has at least as powerful a CPU as the ones that powered the last generation of iPads – with the addition of the advance video support, and of course the flexibility only we offer.” Khoury added.
Omary and Khoury were friends even before they attended the Technion together. After working on several projects independently, the two worked for LAN-chip maker Galileo (bought out by Marvell in 2001). Omary went to the US, where he worked for a decade before returning home to start SolidRun with Khoury.