Intel outfits open-source Galileo computer with Quark chip, targets DIY crowd

To reach enthusiasts, Intel is partnering with Arduino

Intel's Galileo board with Quark chip

Intel's Galileo board with Quark chip

With its first computer based on the extremely low-power Quark processor, Intel is tapping into the 'maker' community to figure out ways the new chip could be best used.

The chip maker announced the Galileo computer -- which is a board without a case -- with the Intel Quark X1000 processor on Thursday. The board is targeted at the community of do-it-yourself enthusiasts who make computing devices ranging from robots and health monitors to home media centers and PCs.

The Galileo board should become widely available for under US$60 by the end of November, said Mike Bell, vice president and general manager of the New Devices Group at Intel.

Bell hopes the maker community will use the board to build prototypes and debug devices. The Galileo board will be open-source, and the schematics will be released over time so it can be replicated by individuals and companies.

Bell's New Devices Group is investigating business opportunities in the emerging markets of wearable devices and the "Internet of things." The chip maker launched the extremely low-power Quark processor for such devices last month.

"People want to be able to use our chips to do creative things," Bell said. "All of the coolest devices are coming from the maker community."

But at around $60, the Galileo will be more expensive than the popular Raspberry Pi, which is based on an ARM processor and sells for $25. The Raspberry Pi can also render 1080p graphics, which Intel's Galileo can't match.

Questions also remain on whether Intel's overtures will be accepted by the maker community, which embraces the open-source ethos of a community working together to tweak hardware designs. Intel has made a lot of contributions to the Linux OS, but has kept its hardware designs secret. Intel's efforts to reach out to the enthusiast community is recent; the company's first open-source PC went on sale in July.

Intel is committed long-term to the enthusiast community, Bell said.

Intel also announced a partnership with Arduino, which provides a software development environment for the Galileo motherboard. The enthusiast community has largely relied on Arduino microcontrollers and boards with ARM processors to create interactive computing devices.

The Galileo is equipped with a 32-bit Quark SoC X1000 CPU, which has a clock speed of 400MHz and is based on the x86 Pentium Instruction Set Architecture. The Galileo board supports Linux OS and the Arduino development environment. It also supports standard data transfer and networking interfaces such as PCI-Express, Ethernet and USB 2.0.

Intel has demonstrated its Quark chip running in eyewear and a medical patch to check for vitals. The company has also talked about the possibility of using the chip in personalized medicine, sensor devices and cars.

Intel hopes creating interactive computing devices with Galileo will be easy. Writing applications for the board is as simple as writing programs to standard microcontrollers with support for the Arduino development environment.

"Essentially it's transparent to the development," Bell said.

Intel is shipping out 50,000 Galileo boards for free to students at over 1,000 universities over the next 18 months.

Agam Shah covers PCs, tablets, servers, chips and semiconductors for IDG News Service. Follow Agam on Twitter at @agamsh. Agam's e-mail address is agam_shah@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags hardware systemsComponentsintel

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?