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Intel debuts processors, software for IoT cloud

Posted: 05 Nov 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Intel  IoT  cloud  MCU  processor 

Intel Corp. has expanded its line-up for the Internet of Things (IoT) with the introduction of three Quark processors and a couple of microcontroller (MCU)-class OSes and software for IoT cloud services. The announcement comes a week before rival ARM opens the doors on its annual conference in Silicon Valley and a year after ARM unveiled its own OS for IoT.

The race is on to establish end-to-end platforms for the IoT that simplify choices in the fragmented sector. Everyone from top tier carriers such as Verizon to venture-funded startups and Intel's OEM customer Dell have rolled out its IoT platforms recently.

For its part, Intel announced the Quark SE SoC with an embedded sensor hub as well as pattern matching for handling some analytics processing. In addition, it announced the D1000 and D2000 MCUs.

Intel provided few details on the chips in a fact sheet posted online, however it did say the SE and D2000 support a full x86 instruction set. The D1000 is available, the D2000 will be available by the end of the year and the Quark SE SOC will be available by June.

The MCU space is hotly competitive. A wide range of vendors are delivering ARM-based chips that compete with many well-entrenched proprietary architectures from companies ranging from Microchip to Synopsys.

Intel has slowly gained some traction in this space in the last two years. Its IoT group had revenues of more than $500 million in the PC giant's most recent quarter.

At the Intel event, Honeywell demoed wearable systems using Quark for industrial and public-safety workers at an event here. Smart-building vendor Yanzi will use the Quark SoC in its sensor nodes.

IoT software for cloud computing

Intel's Wind River division announced two IoT OSes. Rocket is a real-time operating system aimed at 32bit MCUs. Pulsar is a small footprint version of Wind River's Linux, supporting 64bit and 32bit processors. Both can run on x86 or ARM chips.

In addition, Wind River announced three versions of software to handle cloud computing for IoT deployments. Helix App Cloud, Lab Cloud and Device Cloud help build IoT applications, simulate and test and manage IoT systems, respectively.

The chip company also announced developer and partner programmes for the software. Companies supporting it include Advantech, Autodesk, Avnet, Cypress, Freescale, HP Enterprise, Kontron, Microsoft, Oracle, PTC/Thingworx, Salesforce, Texas Instruments and Xilinx.

Intel also unleashed a Trusted Analytics Platform for developers and data scientists as part of a broad IoT reference architecture. TAP broadly addresses a range of sectors including healthcare, retail and industrial.

SAP said it will support an Intel IoT reference platform with its software. Levi Strauss & Co. showed a proof of concept for retail shops based on an Intel IoT reference design.

In a show of the strategic importance of the sector, CEO Brian Krzanich joined a group of executives at the event including the heads of Intel's data centre, IoT and software divisions.

- Rick Merritt
  EE Times

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