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You know how you can replace your desktop motherboard when your PC breaks down or when you’re just ready for an upgrade? Yeah, you might be able to do that with your laptop soon, thanks to a push from Shuttle. While the company is best known for making small form factor desktops, Shuttle is getting into the laptop space starting today. And I don’t mean Shuttle is simply launching a notebook or two. Rather, the company is working with some top Taiwanese ODMs to create a standards for laptops with screen sizes ranging from 10 to 22 inches.

While the repair/upgrade features are nice, that’s just the start. Shuttle says creating standards for notebook motherboards will also make it much easier for local and regional OEMs and brand names to produce laptops.

There are two types of designs at this point. Micro SPA covers 10 to 12 inch notebooks, while SPA covers 13.3 inch and larger models.

The motherboards will be able to handle Intel, AMD, and VIA chips. Shuttle is also offering is own USB, power management, display, and other technologies for SPA and Micro SPA boards. And the company is launching a site in March that will make it easy for companies to order the components they need to build their system.

PC makers won’t need to purchase the motherboards from Shuttle. Pretty much anyone can use the standard, which should make it much easier to develop PC components that will work in a wide variety of netbooks, should the platform really take off. But Shuttle is hoping to make its money by certifying products.

I stopped by the Shuttle booth yesterday in advance of the announcement, and saw some of the new motherboards on display, as well as a few laptops built using these mainboards. You can find more images after the break, as well as the complete press release.

Shuttle Officially Unveils Notebooks and Motherboards Based on New Shuttle Notebook Ecosystem at 2010 International CES

Shuttle unveils mobile solutions for the first time to media, partners, and customers

City of Industry, CA–January 08, 2010 / (https://www.myprgenie.com) — Shuttle, an industry leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance small form factor (SFF) PC solutions and creator of the XPC, today held a press conference at the 2010 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas to unveil its mobile solutions based on the new Shuttle notebook ecosystem.

At the press conference, Shuttle revisited what it means to innovate and formally introduced to media, partners, and customers worldwide its new product lines that are made possible by its new business strategy. Shuttle executives, including Mr. David Yu, Founder and Chairman, Mr. David Chen, President and CEO, and U.S. and headquarters top management discussed how the company will revolutionize the computer industry with the new Shuttle notebook ecosystem, and enable for the first time, true standardization across the notebook industry.

“Nothing is more exciting in business than creating together,” said Nicolas Villalobos, Manager at Shuttle Computer Group in Los Angeles, “This coming year, I really look forward to working with the many existing and new partners as we continue to innovate around our new Shuttle notebook ecosystem.”


With the new notebook ecosystem, Shuttle is fueling a new way of designing notebooks. Shuttle’s new ecosystem creates a notebook standard based on a standardized motherboard, similar to that of the desktop industry, which minimizes the time and cost required to create a new design. With key barriers to entry removed by the new ecosystem and notebook standard, Shuttle is enabling smaller local OEMs and brand names to step foot into the notebook market.

The notebook ecosystem allows for a horizontal integration for Shuttle, which in contrast to the vertical integration of current ODM companies, results in more platform choices for customers – eight to choose from instead of the usual three to five. These affiliated partners, which include ID design houses, tooling and mechanical vendors, and EMS and key components suppliers, are also pre-qualified as part of the Shuttle Qualified program, assuring the product quality of the notebooks.

With partners in every phase of the notebook building process in the new ecosystem, Shuttle is able to offer a full supply chain, a complete platform line, more ID solutions, and flexible delivery terms from complete system or barebone to SKD or CKD. At the same cost or less as existing ODM companies, local OEMs gain flexibility, customization, and most importantly, standardization by building a solution based on the Shuttle notebook ecosystem.


The Shuttle notebook ecosystem features two product offerings, SPA or SPA (Micro SPA), designed for a complete line up of entry-level and mainstream notebook products. SPA series motherboards are standard motherboards meant for mainstream notebooks from 13.3″ and above in size, and feature power-saving integrated graphics or performance-oriented discrete graphics. SPA (or Micro SPA) series motherboards are standard motherboards geared towards entry-level notebooks from 10.1″ and above in size, featuring power-saving integrated graphics.

SPA and SPA notebook products consist of a complete platform line and ID solutions. Platform options include Intel, AMD, and VIA chipsets and to start, there will be eight platform choices for SPA and SPA. And with seven different screen sizes and 20 ID solutions to choose from in 2010 and more to come in 2011, the available product combinations based on the new ecosystem easily be in the hundreds. For local OEMs, this increases the product options exponentially.


Along with its new SPA and SPA (Micro SPA) notebooks, Shuttle will be introducing its new notebook innovations – iPower Technology. These new technologies are designed to enhance the user experience with Shuttle SPA and SPA (Micro SPA) based notebooks.

The iPower series of technologies include iPower USB (charges USB device while notebook is turned off), iPower Xcross (allows easy switching between over clocking mode and power-saving mode), iPower Charger (charges up to 3x faster than average notebooks), iPower On-Screen (auto detection of external monitor), and iPower GXT (graphics card docking station). With an increase of up to 9x better graphics performance, the iPower GXT not only provides the increased performance when needed, it also can extend the lifetime of the notebook.


To ease the notebook ordering process, Shuttle has created a new online notebook ordering system to allow customers to log in and build their ideal notebook. The eSPA website is scheduled to roll out in March 1, 2010, and will be available for ordering at https://spa.shuttle.com.

“Our new ecosystem approach enables the creation of a new breed of notebook business model for local OEMs, enabling them to gain market share,” said David Chen, President and CEO at Shuttle, “With the new notebook standard, local OEMs will have more control over the product design and overall cost, resulting in a product that’s more market competitive than ever before. It’s a game changing strategy and we’re confident in our coming business growth.”


“Shuttle has been a strategic partner of AMD for a long time and we are very glad to see Shuttle step into notebook field,” said Billy Wang, Corporate VP of Sales & Marketing at AMD in Greater China, “AMD will offer a complete platform solution to match Shuttle’s “new notebook ecosystem” strategy and I am very certain that we will grow together, as we develop more leading edge technology in the coming future.”

“VIA welcomes the announcement of the new Shuttle notebook ecosystem development strategy,” said Richard Brown, Vice President of Marketing at VIA Technologies, “Alliances of leading industry component makers and OEMs focused on lowering the barriers for smaller players to compete in the market will spur competition, innovation and ultimately benefit the end-user.”

“Shuttle new ecosystem is an innovative idea for the notebook ODM industry. We think it could stimulate the growth of the market, especially for LOEMs,” said Sherman Wei, President at Chicony Co., Ltd., “We are pleased to have this opportunity to participate in Shuttle’s new ecosystem.”

“Diverse ID and product combinations are the biggest concern for LOEMs and Shuttle just provided a solution by launching the new notebook ecosystem,” said Tom Song, General Manager at Lite-On Co., Ltd., “Lite-On Taiwan is happy to support Shuttle to enable this new ecosystem.”

“The most valuable aspect of Shuttle’s new ecosystem is standardization. The new ecosystem will enable worldwide LOEMs to strengthen its notebook product and let LOEMs become more competitive in the market,” said Raymond Sung, President at Simplo Co., Ltd., “We are pleased to support Shuttle and look forward to the future growth of the notebook industry.”

“LG Display is excited to see Shuttle’s new notebook ecosystem,” commented the IT sales team at LG Display, “We believe this new ecosystem and business model can help worldwide LOEMs to grow faster than ever before, and we are more than happy to support Shuttle to enable this new ecosystem.”

“Shuttle’s new ecosystem will bring a different vision to the notebook industry and predict that it will pull the market to new heights,” said Michael Wu, CEO at Gallopwire Co., Ltd., “It’s our honor to have the opportunity to participate in the Shuttle ecosystem.”

“We’re glad to see Shuttle’s announcement of their entry into the notebook ODM industry,” said Sean Hsieh, President at Elpida Memory Co., Ltd., “With its new ecosystem strategy, the future growth of the entire market would be worthy to expect.”

For more information about SHUTTLE at CES 2010, visit us.shuttle.com/ces or follow @ShuttleLabs.

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7 replies on “Shuttle launches push for notebook motherboard standards”

  1. I hope this becomes the standard, with standardized modular parts, you can finally build your own laptop from OEM parts and just skip the big name middle man.

    1. If anything, this will bring down the price of the middle-man laptops. It’s not significantly cheaper to build rather than buy with desktops anymore except at the high end, the benefit of a home build is being able to build it YOUR way rather than picking a few options on an order sheet. I suspect that, long term, that will be the benefit here as well. Allowing the enthusiast to pick exactly what meets their needs, replace parts that fail or no longer cut it, etc.

      I don’t know if I’d bet on these guys being successful, but I have to say, I’m rooting for them. Good luck and godspeed, Shuttle.

      1. Another huge thing, would be the ability to keep the shell, i.e. the case, screen, and keyboard you love, and swap out the motherboard for a faster processor, gpu, and what not… Instead of having to throw the whole damn thing away every time you want to upgrade any one part of the machine… Hell after market GPU’s for laptops would become viable… Just like in desktops…

        And there will be bleed over between the two, if this takes off… Especially as cases shrink, and everything gets smaller and more power efficient on that end too… This really does have monumental possibilities… It will just take a decade to work itself out.

        1. That leads into an interesting point… does this have any potential to support MXM, or some other similar technology? That would give upgradeable graphics without motherboard swaps.

          Of course, the screen I love is 15.0″ 4:3, at 2048×1536. The highest resolution wide panels for laptops are 1920×1200, in 15.4″ or larger. And, I have this screen in a ThinkPad newer than it was intended for already. (Intended for the R50p, installed in a T60p. Technically, I could put a 14.1″ 4:3 T61p motherboard in my T60p, and that would be the newest possible ThinkPad that can drive this panel.)

  2. This has the potential to be very cool for enthusiasts and gamers. I’ve always shied away from dropping $1500+ on a gaming laptop, but if the possibility of modular components becomes realized…

    Very intriguing!

  3. This is awesome as hell. If this takes off we’ll be able to repair our laptops ourselves, and possibly even upgrade them… Cost of manufacture should go through the floor, and Laptops become like desktops where primarily everything is a consumer part, and hence a commodity. Gone will be the days where you throw the whole system away just to upgrade the processor… Wow, I’m very very excited, it’s WAY past time something like this happened.

    This right here is the least sexy, biggest game changer in CES.

    1. Well, to be fair, the way it was explained to me, you’ll be able to take
      your laptop into the shop for repair… I’m pretty sure you’ll have to
      really know what you’re doing (and be willing to void your warranty) to do
      it yourself. But yeah, it’s still pretty cool.

Comments are closed.