What is Pizza Box Computer? In computer science, a pizzelle box is a kind of circuit box or switch for network switches or computer hardware. It is made of thin sheets of aluminum, often one or two rack cells (1U or 2U), making it nearly flat and full, being nearly identical to the boxes in which they dispense the pizzas. It is also called a thermal or box board. It is commonly used as an input device, where a voltage is applied to flip an input switch, or sometimes as an output device, from on or off.
Today, as technology improves, new versions of the pie box computer are manufactured with more advanced features and design. The original, and still the most popular version, have two rows of parallel holes with two metal prongs in the corners, with thin sheets of aluminum on both sides. Pins 4 through 8 are placed in parallel, evenly spaced all around the perimeter, with each pin placed into its corresponding hole. The edges of the board are then stapled to provide support for the hinges.
Another variation of the original is the two-row, two-sided, self-contained, self-propelled, fire-proof (FPC) pizza box. This definition is somewhat narrower than the pizza board, because the board is not a single piece but consists of two rows of parallel metal shelves on each side of a two-row board with eight holes in each row. One of the two rows contains eight holes, while the other row contains only six holes. These boards are available as small as six inches in diameter to seven and a half inches in diameter.
The third possible variation on the subject is the “self-propelled” or “indestructible” pizza boxes. This definition is based on the fact that a number of them were produced in an effort to meet a U.S. Department of Defense initiative known as the Box-Tec program. Boxes were made from high-density polyethylene and reinforced with Kevlar. The self-propelled or indestructible ones are still in production, though their numbers are severely limited by the fact that they can only be manufactured per unit per day.
The history of the “what is a pizza box computer?” definition is incomplete without reference to the portable variety. Portable or mobile pizza boxes differ from stationary ones in that they are designed to be folded or compressed. They are available in a variety of sizes. Some of the most common styles include small and large, long and short, rectangular, and square.
The most recent variation on the basic question of what is a “piece of pizza thrown across an air-conditioned table” comes from computer chip manufacturers. In a presentation at a San Francisco hotel, chip designer Dennis Kirkwood offered a definition of the future. According to Mr. Kirkwood, the future definition of a computer chip should be “a piece of pizza thrown across an air-conditioned table, thereby producing heat energy that warms up the microchips embedded within the chip.” (pg. 4) This air-conditioned chip could be a mobile computing device -one able to be folded or compressed.
The next question asked is, “If heat energy is produced by the microchips, then shouldn’t the heat be harnessed rather than wasting?” Mr. Kirkwood responded, “That’s a good point. One of the biggest challenges in wireless technology is providing power without wasting it.” For the last three years, Kirkwood and co-investors have been working on developing pizza boxes that incorporate microchip power processing systems. In the last patent application filed in September of 2021, they laid out detailed plans for what is anticipated to become pizza Boxes with embedded processors.
The three patents being discussed all deal with desktop computers, specifically with desktop computer architecture, as does this article. The definition of a “piece of pizza” is also taken from the industry’s most widely used jargon -which is “a piece of computer architecture.” As an interesting historical parallel, there was a time when every product defined by a single term was called a PC -an item capable of performing one function. It was only after PCs completely replaced minicomputers that the term “piece of computer architecture” came about – defining anything with a processor that can be integrated into a computer system.