Intel of Things

This story is based on ReadWrite article by David Curry.

For development of IoT, it is vital that computers get smaller and affordable. After all, the goal is to put them in as many items as possible. Intel now marks a significant progress in this endeavor, with its new Quark Micro-controller Developer Kit D2000. In recent days, Intel’s acquisition of Italian semiconductor safety expert hints that the tech giant wants to dominate the IoT micro-controller sphere. Its most direct competition are Arduino/ Genuino micro-controllers. However, the ARM chip most comparable to the new D2000 costs twice as much.

The fact that the new system on chip by Intel is just $15 may let Intel steal the bank from the long time leader in this field – ARM. The new chip boasts with ultra-low-power core running at 32 MHz, with 32 KB integrated flash and 8 KB SRAM. As far as sensors are involved, D2000 offers 6-axis compass/accelerometer, a temperature sensor, a USB port, and an Arduino-Uno compatible shield interface. Software for programming and debugging is provided with the chip.

Scheme depicting structure of the chip; Image courtesy of Intel

Quark is hence a breakthrough, offering a lot of power for a relatively small price. As it has Arduino-Uno compatible interface, the transition of ARM users will be smooth. For everyone looking to experiment, or start building something from scratch, D2000 seems like a very logical choice.

Future of IoT depends on the ingenuity of chip designers. Functioning IoT will need small chips capable of sending more information, and processing input at a higher rate. All this has to be achieved without putting a big price tag on the chip, since availability is equally important as technical specifications. Intel has certainly made a step in the right direction. Together with its other IoT-related initiatives like Intel Edison, Intel certainly has the capacity of becoming IoT-giant as well. User experience and appliance of feedback to next generation of micro-controllers will be crucial.