Talton Teases With Dust-Free PC Claim

Talton Technologies doesn’t quite have content on its Web site ready, nor are its patent applications turned in. But the tiny startup claims to have a solution to a major cause of PC failure.

Company founder and president Russ Russell told internetnews.com
his discovery came after he and another engineering partner had their
PCs quit because of power supplies that failed as a result of dust and particles gumming up
the works.

“I just couldn’t believe that here we are in the 27th century
technology-wise and we’re still dealing with dust issues,” said Russell.
“Filters can keep dust out, but that restricts airflow, which leads to
overheating. We figured out how to do this without filters and still keep
airflow.”

Based in Longview, Wash., Russell says Talton is just three engineers,
including himself, though he is collaborating with other companies on
development.

He said a prototype unit inside a PC has been running fine,
but they plan to do more testing with multiple machines in a “commercial
environment” before going to the patent office early next year. Till then,
he is giving out few details, but says his solution will prevent “a PC power
supply from ever dying because of dust issues, which is a leading cause of
failure.”

He said the prototype unit has its own power supply that emits a tiny
amount of heat versus what it will save. The final version is designed to
feed off the computer’s motherboard, just as the power supply does.

Talton is looking for partners, such as PC manufacturers, interested in
building it in, and also plans to build a unit that can be retrofitted to
existing PCs.

There is a component that needs to be replaced every year to two years
depending on what kind of materials are used, much as inkjet printers need
replacement cartridges. Russell says this kind of recurring revenue should
appeal to PC makers that have few aftermarket options outside of full PC
replacements.

But even if the technology is real and performs as promised, analysts
aren’t sure there’s a market.

“I can say categorically that PC makers hate
to add costs to products, especially if it solves a problem people don’t
realize they may have or only impacts a small percent of people,” said
Nathan Brookwood, a chip analyst and founder of Insight64.

Brookwood agrees that dust is a real issue, especially with so many tower
PCs placed on the floor, though he notes power supplies can die for
component failure and other reasons.

“And when it does die, it’s usually
after the manufacturer’s warranty has run out.”

Brookwood sees more
potential as a retrofit, much as some people buy fuel additives for
performance and preventative maintenance for their cars.

Russell estimates the product would cost “well below $40” in volume for a
PC maker to include and says IT and computer support departments would save
many times that in fewer repairs.

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