Intel's Internet of Things roadmap led by low-power chips

Intel has published a new roadmap for low-power processors embedded with software from McAfee and Wind River.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor
Image: Rachel King, ZDNet

SAN FRANCISCO---Intel tapped into some of the bigger brands under its umbrella for a number of new Atom processor products being unveiled this week -- namely the family previous known as "Bay Trail-I."

These new products make up the processor giant's new roadmap based on buzzy trend disrupting IT and beyond: the Internet of Things.

Describing the "Internet of Things" as the "beginning of a new era," Ton Steenman, vice president and general manager of Intel's Intelligence Systems group, remarked during a media presentation on Tuesday morning that this shift is coming about because "big data has matured in a significant way, matured by business intelligence and social media."

"Without those critical insights, you will be unable to drive the real business potential that the industry is after," Steenman asserted.

To convey just how serious the Internet of Things --or the proliferation of connected devices and massive amounts of data being generated along with that -- Steenman cited McKinsey Global Institute research connected devices have grown at a "phenomenal rate" of more than 300 percent over the past five years.

Steenman listed the following issues that will be addressed by Intel's latest business strategy in this area:

  • Bring the benefits of the Internet of Things to legacy infrastructures
  • Bring more compute scalability to IT systems in general
  • Unleash the power of data analytics at device and cloud levels

Defending the importance of common frameworks across networks and devices, Intel's new roadmap is spearheaded by a focus on low-power architectures:

  • Atom E3800 processor family (a.k.a. "Bay Trail-I"): Improved power performance; error connection code (ECC) for more reliable data integrity and system uptimes; improved media and graphics performance; industrial temperature rates; Suggested for digital signage (i.e. interactive kiosks, ATMs and point-of-sale terminals), portable medical devices, and in-vehicle infotainment systems
  • Quark System-on-a-Chip (SoC) X1000 processor family: 32-bit single core/single-thread Pentium instruction set architecture (ISA); Compatible CPU operating at speeds up to 400MHz; Low-power integrated SoC; error connection code (ECC) for more reliable data integrity and system uptimes; industrial temperature rates

Intel also boasted that these platforms will be the first architectures designed for Internet of Things purposes with software from subsidiaries McAfee and Wind River embedded on the chips for secure data sharing directly within the cloud and between connected assets.

Wind River chief marketing officer Jim Douglas added during the presentation that Wind River will be responsible for "delivering the intelligence in the Internet of Things, introducing Wind River's upgraded Intelligent Device Platform (IDP), a software development environment for building Machine-to-Machine (M2M) applications and devices that communicate with the cloud.

Touting an end-to-end approach, the Wind River IDP's new features hone in on remote device management, improved connectivity (i.e. wider support for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, and short-range wireless protocols), and app development environments for Lua, Java, and OSGi.

Atom E3800 products are available immediately. Products running on infrastructures with Wind River and McAfee software onboard are scheduled to start shipping during the first quarter of 2014.

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