Doc Brown's flux capacitor? A blinged-out religious relic from the future? The set of Tron 2.0?
Nope, though that last one was close. What you're looking at is the Illuminato X Machina, a modular motherboard prototype. Each square cell has its own storage, processor and memory, allowing them to operating independently or as part of a networked cluster.
Instead of having an entire system crash if a component experiences a fatal error, failure of a single cell can still leave the rest of the system operational. It also has the potential to change computing by ushering in machines that draw very little power.
David Ackley, associate professor of computer science at the University of New Mexico, is one of the contributors to the project, as is Justin Huynh. You may remember them as the brains behind the peer-to-peer borrowing and lending Open Source Hardware Bank.
Hive mind mobos, open-source lending? Sounds like socialised medicine to me. (I kid). [Wired]