Intel to Leverage Atom, Quark SoCs for Internet of Things

The chip maker unveils its IoT road map, which includes leveraging its chips and software capabilities.

Intel executives are building out the company’s efforts around the burgeoning Internet of things with new and enhanced chips and plans for integrated gateways that will connect the massive numbers of legacy devices already on the market.

The giant chip maker’s strategy includes new capabilities in its Atom E3800 systems-on-a-chip (SoCs), and leveraging its new low-power Quark X1000 SoC to bring Intel’s architecture into a range of new systems. In addition, Intel is working with its software subsidiaries Wind River and McAfee to develop a new line of intelligent gateways that will help connect legacy systems—which officials says make up 85 percent of today’s devices—into the growing Internet of things (IoT).

The moves are designed to greatly expand Intel’s reach into an IoT market that IDC analysts have said could reach $8.9 trillion by 2020, and to accelerate the growth of the space, according to Ton Steenman, vice president and general manager of Intel's Intelligent Systems Group.

“Intel has the vision to democratize the benefits of the Internet of things,” Steenman said during a Webcast press briefing Oct. 8.

The Internet of things envisions a time when massive numbers of intelligent appliances, systems and devices are connected to the Internet and each other, and data generated from these machines can be easily collected, stored and analyzed. A wide range of vendors—from IBM and Cisco Systems to low-power chip designer ARM—are growing strategies around IoT.

"The momentum of the Internet of things is driven by a number of factors,” Vernon Turner, senior vice president of IDC’s Enterprise Infrastructure, Consumer, Network, Telecom and Sustainability Research, said in a statement Oct. 3. “There is no doubt that business and consumer demand exists and will continue to expand for IoT solutions. I expect the current IoT use cases are just the tip of the iceberg."

Cisco officials—who talk about the Internet of everything—have said the trend could result in $14.4 trillion in profits to businesses by 2020, and has meant more than $613 billion already this year.

Steenman said Intel has the reach—from the devices themselves into the data center and cloud—to be a significant player in the development of the Internet of things, which, he said, is driven by a combination of the huge numbers of devices connecting to the Internet, the growing compute capabilities and the maturity of big data analytics.

The number of connected devices has grown by 300 percent over the past five years, and by 2020, there will be 200 billion connected devices, he said.

”Intel is really in the middle of all this,” Steenman said. “More devices are good for Intel.”