Stick PC

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The idea behind the creator of the Gumstix (on the left), a PC around the size of a stick of gum. There is an extension module on the right

A stick PC or PC on a stick is a single-board computer in a small elongated casing resembling a stick, that can usually can be plugged directly (without HDMI wire) on a HDMI video port. A stick PC is a device which has independent CPU or processing chips and which does not rely on another computer. It should not be confused with passive storage devices such as thumb drives.

A stick PC can be connected to a peripheral device such as a monitor, TV, or kiosk display to produce visual or audio output.


Gumstix is probably the first Stick PC, since it came out in 2003. It used the ARM architecture System on a chip (SoC) with a Linux Operating System using the Linux 2.6 kernel preinstalled. Windows CE, can be installed on this stick. It was created based on the idea of a PC similar in size to that of an average stick of gum.[1]

Lots of Stick PCs are still based on the ARM architecture. SoC was first introduced around 2012, made of stick pluggable in HDMI port, including Android Mini PC MK802 series from Rikomagic, using Android or GNU/Linux distributions, both based on Linux and Allwinner Technology or Rockchip SoC[2][3][4] and Cotton Candy, using Samsung Exynos SoC,[5] are probably the most famous.

First Google Chromecast in 2013

The same year, several chinese manufacturers created PC stick using ARM SoC and Android operating system dedicated to remotely broadcast video via Wi-Fi, one year later, July 24, 2013, Google sell the Google Chromecast, that use the same technologies.[6][7]

In april, 2013, Tronsmart release the MK908, using Rockchip RK3188 (featuring quad-core ARM Cortex-A9 and ARM Mali-400MP GPU).[8]

In march, 2015, Asus and Google introduce together the Chromebit, a stick PC based on Rockchip RK3288 SoC and running the Chrome OS.[9]

Intel Compute Stick

In 2016, Intel Compute Stick is considered one of the first Intel x86 based Stick PCs.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Erik Larson. "Introduction to GumStix Computers" (PDF). University of West Florida. 
  2. ^ Avram Piltch (October 2, 2012). "Android 4.0 Mini PC MK802 II Review". 
  3. ^ Brad Linder (June 6, 2012). "$74 MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC: First impressions (video)". 
  4. ^ ames Trew (July 6, 1012). "MK802 Android 4.0 Mini PC hands-on impressions". Engadget. 
  5. ^ Jarred Walton (January 9, 2012). "FXI Cotton Candy Demo: More Power than You Can Shake a (Thumb) Stick at". Anandtech. 
  6. ^ David Blaza. "China Beat Google to Chromecast". EE Times. 
  7. ^ Evangelho, Jason (July 24, 2013). "Google's Chromecast A Brilliant Play For The Living Room -- Especially With $35 Price Tag". Retrieved July 24, 2013. 
  8. ^ Brad Linder (April 25, 2013). "Tronsmart MK908 quad-core Android TV stick performance (video)". 
  9. ^ Hollister, Sean (March 31, 2015). "Google's Chromebit Turns Any TV Into a Chrome PC for $85". Gizmodo. 
  10. ^ Intel Compute Stick (2016) review, By: Dan Ackerman Reviewed: January 24, 2016, CNET