Intel is offering $1m in prizes to designers and manufacturers who can come up with sexier alternatives to the "big, beige box".
Intel boss talks chips at this week's Developer Forum
The Intel Core Processor Challenge is looking for smaller, more stylish multimedia PCs.
The only condition is that entries must be powered by Intel Viiv technology, using the chip giant's Core 2 Duo processors.
Beyond that, Intel urges potential applicants to "think outside the box".
"Consumers today make home PC purchase decisions based on more than just price and features; they also consider the size, shape and style," said Eric Kim, vice president of Intel's Digital Home Group.
Function and features
The competition is open to PC designers and manufacturers worldwide and each company may submit up to five different designs.
The grand prize winner will receive $300,000 (£159,000) to enable the mass production of the system and $400,000 (£212,000) to co-market the design with Intel. The runner-up will receive up to $300,000 to help with manufacturing costs.
The panel of judges, including Intel president Paul Otellini and Kevin Sintumuang, associate editor of GQ, will evaluate the entries at the beginning of next year on criteria including style, functionality and features.
The winners will be announced at the Intel Developer Forum being held in March 2007.