Gigabyte’s Brix line of devices are small computers that don’t look much larger than a small stack of CD cases. Now the company is developing a new model that’s a little different. Instead of a standalone PC, the Gigabyte Brix Max is designed to be used as a network-attached storage device and media server for you home.
It has an Intel Haswell processor, runs a custom Andr0id-based user interface, and supports up to 4TB of storage, letting you store all your media in one place and access it on you PC, phone, tablet, or other devices in your home.
Gigabyte hasn’t announced the price, release date, or even the final name for the device. It may not even come to market, but the company does appear to have put some time and effort into developing software for the media server as well the hardware for a working prototype. So don’t be surprised if the Brix Max goes on sale later this year, although it may have a different name.
The device features an Intel Haswell processor, four 2.5 inch drive bays with support for up to 1TB of storage each, four USB 3.0 ports, WiFi, HDMI and Ethernet. It also supports for connecting to your other devices via Samba, FTP, DLNA, or as an iTunes media server.
The Brix Max runs Google Android, but there’s a custom app designed to let you manage your media, settings, and connections using a remote control, so you can set up the server near your TV and use it as a media device… or you can stick it in another room and use it to stream content to a media center PC among other devices.
via PC Perspective and Hexus
There are plenty of NASes on the market, but this is still an interesting unit. If the price is right, I’m interested.
Why limit the HDD size to 1TB? That has to be an arbitrary and artificial limitation.
Next question: can it be hacked to support 4TB drives? That would be sweet.
Edit: Ah, I see. Missed that they’re 2.5″ drives. So… hardware hack to 5.25″ drives?
Don’t 2 TB 2.5″ drives exist? Is the 1 TB an actual limit or was the Gigabyte rep not well informed about the device?
Why would you want to put in 5.25″ drives? Play Blu-rays over the LAN?
I found one 2TB 2.5″ drive, but it is unlikely to fit as it is 15mm high. It is on Amazon.
Just looking at the idea. A single drive 4TB NAS device would be cheaper and smaller. I suppose this might have interesting use cases.
Why use a Haswell chip? Does this provide real-time video transcoding? Otherwise, a Bay Trail chip would work just as well if they’re sticking with Intel. It may even be fanless?
If they plan to make a network only device without video out then one of the network centric Silvermont Atoms (Avoton and Rangeley) may work well.
It has HDMI output so it isn’t a pure headless product. They may be using Intel-supplied Android sources to get full GPU support so Haswell might have been their only option – it is hard to tell what Intel has been making available to OEMs.
Sorry, I meant to say that if they decide to make a separate network only device then they could use Avoton or Rangeley Atoms.
Intel doesn’t target the Atom too for the x86 version of Android? I thought Intel uses the open source Mesa drivers and appropriately associated Linux kernel version for GPU support of which Intel has been making many commits to since Bay Trail was leaked and probably for some time before that. Also, aren’t the x86 targeted Android source freely available? I guess it’s possible Intel could be giving special treatment to some OEMs.
As far as I can tell Intel’s Android-IA efforts are completely unrelated to the Android-886 project. Driver support seems to be a sticking point for both development paths though. There are indeed Android-IA Atom builds you can download from Intel but they are narrowly targeted at specific GPUs and even individual tablet computers and none are considered anything but beta testing versions. You’re right though, OEMs had probably been given some direct Android support from Intel for those Atom Bay Trail tablets in the market now.
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