IDF 2014 – Wearables – IoT powered by Galileo and Edison
The Internet of Things is a very important part of Intel’s strategy for the future, where the goal is that every connected device will be Intel based. To make this future possible, Intel introduced on the market two developer kits (Galileo and Edison) supporting through contests the maker and hobbyist community. The Galileo was developed in cooperation with Arduino so that all modules developed for the Uno R3 will fit also on the Intel board. With a single-core Quark X1000 x86 CPU on-board, the Galileo offers about the same computing performance as the RaspberryPi but comes out of the box with accessories such as power adapter and USB cable.
Edison has a much smaller package but needs additional extension boards, depending on what project you want to develop. But Edison is a different performance monster having integrated a dual-core 22nm Silvermont based Intel Atom running at 500MHz and a 32-bit Intel Quark microcontroller at 100 MHz. It supports 40 GPIOs and includes 1GB LPDDR3, 4 GB EMMC, and dual-band WiFi and BTLE on a module slighter larger than stamp.
These are platforms perfect for developers but are they used in any products that Intel showed at IDF? Actually no, because the company has a different strategy which could be very smart for the end results. Their strategy is to search and buy companies that have great potential in the wearables market (BASIS is just one example) or partner with the big players in the industry for building reference designs (Fossil, FORD, SMSAudio or Opening Ceremony). The next step for Intel is to support its partners to develop wearables and smart devices to create demand in the market.
Edison is still too big to fit in a smart bracelet like MICA or in the BASIS smartwatch, but with 14nm or 10nm this will become possible for sure. So we should see all these devices and gadgets presented now as trends and technology showcase: the SMSAudio BioSport headphones with heartbeat monitor, the MICA bracelet with OLED display and 3G connection or the BASIS smartwatch that monitors your health and sleep behaviour. Intel is preparing now the market through these products and partnerships so that in the future we could see true Intel inside wearables and always connected devices.