Intel Joule shipments blocked in key countries, pending certification

Shipments of Intel's Joule computers have been blocked in Japan, China, and Taiwan

If you can't find Intel's Joule developer boards in your country, it's because shipments have been held up.

Intel's Joule 570x and 550x are powerful computer boards that can be built as a PC, or be used to build robots, drones, or smart devices. But Intel is now seeking government certification so the boards can be cleared for shipment in those countries.

Joule shipments have currently been blocked in a number of countries, including Taiwan, Japan, and Israel, all of which have active technology markets where hobbyists design hardware.

Users that have ordered Joule boards from retailers abroad can't receive shipments in the blocked countries.

China is not listed on the page describing the blocked shipments, and Intel can ship and sell the device in Hong Kong.

Intel is currently going through the certification process in blocked countries, which may take some time. The Joule boards are on sale in countries like U.S. and Canada, where the certification process was quick.

Device makers have to get certifications from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission and other regulatory agencies before putting hardware on sale. Some of the certifications depend on the communications technologies and materials used to make the board.

Intel couldn't provide a specific date on when Joule shipments will start in other countries. However, as the boards are certified in countries, shipments will start. Intel will keep its website updated to signify where the Joule boards are available, a company spokesman said.

Joule is similar to the Raspberry Pi 3 and targeted at hobbyists and device makers, but it is more powerful. It also has features not found on Raspberry Pi 3 like 4K video and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The boards are based on Atom x86 processors.

The first Joule to go on sale was the 570x, back in August. It is priced at US $219 on Mouser. Recently, the 550x went on sale for $179. The boards can also be bought with development kits, but that costs more.

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