Intel to Bring Heavy Dose of IoT Offerings to Embedded World

The chip maker will introduce a range of tools to help developers build devices and services for the IoT, from developer kits to software offerings.

Intel IoT

Intel officials at the upcoming Embedded World 2016 show will roll out a broad array of hardware and software that will make it easier for developers to create new products for the Internet of things.

The chip maker will unveil new developer kits, software tools and modules that will reduce the complexity around creating Internet of things (IoT) devices and services and cut the time it takes to bring them to market, according to the company.

"The Internet of things … has enormous potential to drive both economic growth and social change," Ken Caviasca, vice president in the Internet of Things Group and general manager of platform engineering and development at Intel, wrote in a post on the company blog. "With 85 percent of technology still unconnected, and security threats pervasive, it is still very much the Wild West with vast new territory to explore. … Once the hurdles are out of the way, developers will find they can instead focus on the fun stuff—innovation, imagination, and exploration of all the possibilities IoT has to offer."

The new products that will be introduced at Embedded World—running Feb. 23-25 in Nuremberg, Germany—will be just the latest efforts in Intel's aggressive push into the IoT, one of the growth areas the chip maker is targeting as it looks to extend its reach and reduce its reliance on the contracting PC market. It has been an important business segment since Brian Krzanich took over as CEO almost three years ago.

That importance was highlighted last month when Krzanich and other Intel executives announced the company's 2015 financial numbers. Areas like the IoT, memory technology and the data center were able to partially offset revenue declines due to macroeconomic pressures and the struggling global PC market, generating almost 40 percent of Intel's overall revenue, more than 60 percent of its operating margin and $2.2 billion in profitable revenue growth last year, the CEO said during a conference call.

On its own, the IoT Group saw $2.3 billion in revenue, a 7 percent increase over the previous year.

At the show next week, Intel will add to its lineup of IoT developer kits based on the vendor's IoT Platform that are designed to help developers bring their ideas from prototype to production, Caviasca wrote. Among the new offerings will be the Quark Microcontroller Developer Kit D2000, based on Intel's tiny, low-power Quark processor. In its booth at the show, Intel will display an IoT solution based on the new developer kit created by Hanhaa, a small IoT company working out of the United Kingdom.

Intel also offers an IoT developer kit that works with both the company's Galileo and Edison development boards. For embedded products, the chip maker is unveiling the new Intel IoT Gateways and Intel Expansion Kit with MinnowBoard MAX, and the highly customizable MinnowBoard MAX-compatible board, called the MinnowBoard Turbot.

The Minnowboard is an open-source hardware reference platform powered by a 64-bit Atom E38xx Series system-on-a-chip (SoC) from Intel.

In addition, the company is working with Telit, which develops wireless machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies, to build IoT modules based on Intel's Atom x3 chip. Two modules feature integrated application processing with such options as WiFi, BT, global navigation satellite system (GNSS), or cellular capabilities. The modules developed with Telit will be available late this year.

In his blog post, Caviasca said that Intel's IoT offerings and the convergence of existing networks—including 3G, 4G, LTE and WiFi—"will transform the way we communicate and interact with the world. As we close in on the reality of an accessible and seamlessly connected 5G network solution, we'll see computing capabilities become smarter and more energy efficient and fuse with devices everywhere. Billions of things, like wearable devices, will no longer struggle with computing power because the network will provide the necessary processing capability."

On the software front, Intel is unveiling a new System Studio IoT Edition for C/C++/Java development, that will include new features and added support to Intel's XDK IoT Edition for node.js apps and HTML5 companion app development. Intel System Studio offers cross-development tools for performance- and power-optimized mobile and embedded devices based on the Intel Architecture, and the Intel System Studio for Microcontrollers software suite includes Eclipse integration and is designed for developers leveraging the Quark SoC.

The controllers also support the newly-launched open-source Zephyr Project from the Linux Foundation. The project includes Intel companies Altera and Wind River. In addition, Intel also is introducing starter boards based on the Edison module for Google's new Brillo operating system. Intel already supports Brillo through its Edison Kit for Arduino.