UNI Computer Builds ‘Em As You Go

UNI is a compartmentalized computer concept by where most of the important media and computational functions have been broken up into modules. You only buy what modules you need thus allowing for expansion.

Thanks to the Network HomePlug technology and wireless USB, digital signals can transfer through normal household powerlines at 200mbps. Wireless USB allows the different modules to communicate with each other at 480Mbps.

The Think module is the main computer unit. This is where most of the processing and data handling occurs. The DVD module lets you read audio/video data while the STORE module lets you save anything to it.

This paradigm shift in computer design also benefits those who want to upgrade certain components that are normally hardwired into today’s computers such as video display outputs. Use the standard VGA module until you need to upgrade to the HDMI module. Then just swap one for the other or keep both on for some real flexibility.

Although the concept is intriguing, I find daunting to have to expand my computer’s footprint everytime I need to upgrade. Now more than ever, space is at a premium. Nobody wants a monster on their desk.

Designer: Richard Choi

67 Comments

  • This is a very unique concept and a great one too. Imagine you just need to install the needed hardware for your computing needs making it more practical because you don't have to purchase all of the parts.

  • This is a very unique concept and a great one too. Imagine you just need to install the needed hardware for your computing needs making it more practical because you don’t have to purchase all of the parts.

  • Dielie says:

    they abandended sidecar expansion in the “80’s for a reason

  • Tucker says:

    Sorry to tell you, but the design is flawed. The network based interconnection between the modules is an inexcusable performance bottleneck. Without going deep into memory design, processor architecture and cache flow, I'll show you whats wrong with a real world example.

    1. I'll assume the "Store" module consist of a hard drive and the associated control electronics. Now the most common hard drive interface in use today is SATA which boasts a bandwidth of 3 Gigabits per second (375 Megabytes per second), compare this to the bandwidth of the wireless interconnection which only hits 480 Megabits per second (60 Megabytes per second). So with this setup the interconnection would slow the "Store" module to 1/6th its potential speed.

    Other notes of interest:
    1. HDMI has bandwidth in the Gigabit range, so HD video would probably be impossible.
    2. You'd do better to use Gigabit Ethernet between the units, faster and less troublesome then WiFi. But you would still have the bottleneck.
    3. The above calculations assumed the interfaces worked at full speed, in the real world they wouldn't. More likely to receive roughly 75% of total bandwidth.
    4. Just cause you can draw it, doesn't mean you can make it. Engineering 101.

  • Tucker says:

    Sorry to tell you, but the design is flawed. The network based interconnection between the modules is an inexcusable performance bottleneck. Without going deep into memory design, processor architecture and cache flow, I'll show you whats wrong with a real world example.

    1. I'll assume the “Store” module consist of a hard drive and the associated control electronics. Now the most common hard drive interface in use today is SATA which boasts a bandwidth of 3 Gigabits per second (375 Megabytes per second), compare this to the bandwidth of the wireless interconnection which only hits 480 Megabits per second (60 Megabytes per second). So with this setup the interconnection would slow the “Store” module to 1/6th its potential speed.

    Other notes of interest:
    1. HDMI has bandwidth in the Gigabit range, so HD video would probably be impossible.
    2. You'd do better to use Gigabit Ethernet between the units, faster and less troublesome then WiFi. But you would still have the bottleneck.
    3. The above calculations assumed the interfaces worked at full speed, in the real world they wouldn't. More likely to receive roughly 75% of total bandwidth.
    4. Just cause you can draw it, doesn't mean you can make it. Engineering 101.

  • tryecrot says:

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  • Angelika says:

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