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Intel Launches 'Galileo,' an Arduino-Compatible Mini Computer

Soulskill posted 1 year,21 days | from the catholic-church-not-a-fan dept.

Intel 130

MojoKid writes "Although Intel is Chipzilla, the company can't help but extend its reach just a bit into the exciting and growing world of DIY makers and hobbyists. Intel announced its Galileo development board, a microcontroller that's compatible with Arduino software and uses the new Quark X1000 processor (400MHz, 32-bit, Pentium-class, single- core and thread) that Intel announced at the IDF 2013 keynote. The board makes use of Intel's architecture to make it easy to develop for Windows, Mac, and Linux, but it's also completely open hardware (PDF). Galileo is 10cm x 7cm (although ports protrude a bit beyond that), and there are four screw holes for secure mounting. Ports include 10/100 Ethernet, USB client/host ports, RS-232 UART and 3.5mm jack, mini PCIe slot (with USB 2.0 host support); other features include 8MB Legacy SPI Flash for firmware storage, 512KB embedded SRAM, 256MB DRAM, 11KB EEPROM programmed via the EEPROM library, and support for an additional 32GB of storage using a microSD card."

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more the better (5, Interesting)

AlreadyStarted (523251) | 1 year,21 days | (#45037621)

I know there will be haters, but the more corporate interest and entries in this category the better in my opinion. And if it happens to forward the interests of Intel, more power to them.

Re: more the better (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45038497)

I generally stop reading anything when I encounter the word "hater" in it.

It's just so stereotyping a term to use. I hope a lot of us will disregard comments that use that word to describe others, too.

It's hateful and it shrieks cultishness. Just stop.

Re:more the better (1, Flamebait)

hairyfeet (841228) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038775)

Maybe if you found out WHY some hate intel you might understand, yes? How about the fact that they weren't busted for antitrust after a half dozen CEOs admitted taking bribes from Intel to take the power pig P4 and lock AMD out of the market, or how about the Intel Compiler which is rigged to this very day so that ANY CODE made on ICC will be crippled if run on anything but an Intel CPU?

Everybody here screams about MSFT and Apple but Intel makes both look like the care bears when it comes to dirty dealing, bribery, market rigging, falsifying benchmarks,you name it Intel has done it and have bought their way out of it. If anyone wants I'll be happy to wallpaper this page with citations from multiple sources backing every bit of this up.

So you can see why some of us would look at a "gift" like this from Intel with suspicion, Intel can play the EEE game with the best of them and wouldn't be the first time Intel product dumped to try to destroy what they thought was a threat, see Intel giving away their chipsets to slit Nvidia's throat in the chipset biz, which they did eventually run them out of. Again no investigation, no antitrust, nothing.

Re:more the better (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45039513)

Amen. Intel has far too much power on the computing landscape, much more than IBM ever had in the 70s and early 80s, and that's saying something, since I'm old enough to have lived through that period, and using computers at the time. Probably the worst fear at Intel is that AMD stops producing x86 compatible processors, they would have more power on the hardware landscape than Microsift ever had on the software, and could no more dispute that they are a monpoly and could no more resort to all the dirty tricks they've become accustomed (Centrino for example, was a way to kill competition on the wireless part of chipsets, that's in my view using a monopoly to expel competitors from a complementary market, which is illegal).

Intel License Agreement not GPL-compliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45039493)

The Galileo board looks fairly interesting, but have you seen the Intel Software License Agreement [] that you have to accept to download the Galileo software?

Apparently nobody told Intel's lawyers that this project was open source and open hardware, and that derivatives based on GPL-licensed sources cannot be encumbered by additional restrictions. That license agreement is completely out of step with everything else in the Arduino community, not to mention also being out of step with Intel's very strong support for Linux in all other areas.

(I expect this is just a temporary mistake by Intel, but it's a big one.)

Sounds.... Expencive (1)

lapm (750202) | 1 year,21 days | (#45037637)

It might be Arduino compatible but not price wise. With all those things sounds like expensive.

Re:Sounds.... Expencive (5, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,21 days | (#45037901)

I've heard ~$60 thrown around as a number, though not an authoritative one. Lousy by the standards of Arduino projects that really are 8-bit MCU work; but the world is infested with Arduino projects that have the MCU twiddling a few sensors and then a (surprisingly expensive) ethernet/wifi shield bodged on to report the results to the internet. If that's you, the cost gets a lot more competitive.

Though, on the downside (similarly not-yet-confirmed) reports are that the arrangement Intel uses to support the GPIO is pretty limited, compared to much cheaper parts that do GPIO closer to the metal, in terms of the speeds at which it can bit-bang the assorted oddball peripherals (those cheapie LED strands for instance) that many arduino projects end up bit-banging to communicate with. Having a real ethernet and SD interface, not SPI hacks, is nice; but if those reports are to be believed, your project had better be doable without extensive bitbang interfacing.

Re:Sounds.... Expencive (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45038133)

Big issues:
Proper device drivers for USB, filesystem for SD, and drivers for PCIe in a single threaded model????
Very slow I/O via 100kHz I2C. Someone mentioned 230Hz update, so compatibility is low.

I don't even know how they are supposed to support the devices in a non-multitasking model for their "Arduino" framework. It gets very very messy to not have a proper OS to manage the devices that the board hardware supports. There is only so much interrupt code to service the device before you need to run the drivers in a separate task/process.

It almost make sense to be running linux or a proper RTOS on the hardware and a runtime scripts on top for application code. That way you get the drivers for free.
i.e. it is no longer "Arduino" other than by Trademark. Why bother?

Re:Sounds.... Expencive (2)

viperidaenz (2515578) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038225)

When they say single thread, they mean not hyper threading. It's an x86, it can context switch like any other x86.

Re:Sounds.... Expencive (4, Informative)

pjrc (134994) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038887)

The "someone" mentioning 230 Hz is INTEL, in their Galileo FAQ. []

The question is near the end, specifically "What is the maximum rate at which GPIO output pins can be updated?"

The answer, which you'll see if you click that link and expand the question to see the answer, is:

The GPIO output pins on Intel® Galileo are provided by an I2C Port Expander that is running at standard mode (100 kHz). Each I2C request to update a GPIO requires approximately 2ms. In addition to software overhead, this restricts the frequency achievable on the GPIO outputs to approximately 230 Hz.

Re:Sounds.... Expencive (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45039117)

230 Hz?

Good luck controlling servos with that. Lame.

Re:Sounds.... Expencive (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45039063)

it's intel..

it's gonna be three times more expensive than it should, and be abandoned by the manufacturer after its initial production run. the processor itself may live on in something else (very small portable or wearable devices).. but this particular product is dead before it even gets released to the public.

Re:Sounds.... Expencive (2)

hjf (703092) | 1 year,21 days | (#45039115)

Erm... an ENC28J60 module with RJ45 jack, magnetics, crystal, and all you need to connect an arduino (or any other MCU) is $3.50 on ebay. Less than the price of the ENC28J60 chip alone!.

Re:Sounds.... Expencive (3, Interesting)

HeckRuler (1369601) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038401)

Intel didn’t announce pricing for Galileo,

Aaaaand I'm instantly not interested.

Seriously, you can throw as much hardware as you want at a problem, it's all just a matter of price. We could shove an iphone everywhere we want compact processing capabilities. (And god knows enough people actually do that).

Also, it really helps if it's open. The raspberry pi is neat because it's specifically useful as a full-fledged computer that DAMN cheap. It runs Linux so there's a lot of leeway with what you want to do with it. (Quickly, without having to develop your own RTOS and windows manager) But it IS questionable about what sort of long-term legs it has because the broadcom chip on it is very much closed. I don't care how awesome the hardware is if I can't even blink an LED without asking mother-may-I from some corporate whore.

Re: Sounds.... Expencive (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45038565)

A good compiler and a low cost PIC or AVG processor is what I tend to use. Cost footprint: several dollars per unit. I can't understand people who insist on throwing a big engine at trivial tasks. Then again I am a hardware type. Software types cling to their thick padding of abstraction. I like coding up from the reset vector.

Re: Sounds.... Expencive (2)

HeckRuler (1369601) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038877)

Software types cling to their thick padding of abstraction. I like coding up from the reset vector.

I like not having to re-invent quicksort, atoi, hexToDec, etc etc etc every god-damn time. Or having to whip out the scope to find out what quirk this SPI implementation is doing. I like libraries where I know how they work, I can plop them down, and instantly have known capabilities. And no, you don't need big engines for everything. But if you need an Ethernet connection, even though the speed constraints are so lax that even a 8051 could handle it, it doesn't mean that you should piss away weeks re-inventing the wheel just to save a couple bucks on a cheaper chip. Unless you're making millions of units. It's a business decision. Whatever is cheapest and gets the job done. Sometimes that means slapping an intel in there.

Why not single chip? (2)

unixisc (2429386) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038769)

Looking at the picture of the PCB they used, first question that strikes me - why not simply make it a single chip ASIC? I counted at least 7 chips on board. It would seem that a single chip w/ all the functions, and connections running out to all the ports - PCIe, USB, Ethernet, SPI and so on would enable Intel to minimize on chip cost, and let the rest of the cost hinge on the peripheral interfaces.

If that would be too expensive, Intel could make things cheaper by going as far back to a Pentium I core, or even something like an address/data multiplexed 486, but making sure that modern peripherals are supported. The main issue on older chips was that the CPU was really fast, but the peripherals pretty slow. Here, the peripherals could be as fast as the CPU, but since there's also a premium on battery life, the clock could be drawn back. Also, they could toss in some Centrino chip functionality so that Wi-Fi too got supported.

Such a system could support just about every x86 OS out there - FreeDOS, Windows, Linux, Minix, and so on. In fact, on such a system, a 32-bit version of FreeDOS could also be made.

Re:Why not single chip? (2)

Blaskowicz (634489) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038985)

To me the CPU is meant to be used in embedded systems, where you don't necessarily need ethernet or USB or something else.
What's announced here is a low cost general purpose and development board.
The integrated 512K of special RAM means it can maybe be used without external memory chips. It's like having a PC that can boot DOS without memory DIMMs.

Re:Why not single chip? (2)

highfreq2 (575192) | 1 year,21 days | (#45039137)

It isn't because they didn't think of this. The PCIe and USB do look to be directly from the SOC. Ethernet PHY's are difficult or impossible to implement in the low voltage processes used for modern SOCs. DRAM and flash are sometimes mounted onto the top of the SOC, but that is more expensive, and typically used for mobile where space is at a premium. But if you were going to run a small embedded OS you can probably get by with the 512k or SRAM. Most the other chips are either power supply, or 3.3V I/O. These are again places where the SOC process doesn't allow for I/Os that handle the higher voltages safely.

pricing? (2)

csumpi (2258986) | 1 year,21 days | (#45037649)

"low cost" - how low exactly?

Re:pricing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45037687)

Missing from the summary, I've heard it claimed to be $60

Re:pricing? (1)

harvestsun (2948641) | 1 year,21 days | (#45037711)

A couple other sources say it's $60. Which is not too bad (especially compared to their $199 MinnowBoard).

Re:pricing? (5, Informative)

pjrc (134994) | 1 year,21 days | (#45037731)

Several articles have appeared claiming "under $60".

For for free if you're one of about 50000 students or apparently about 400 people who attended a talk at Maker Faire last weekend in Rome.

However, if you check out Intel FAQ, there are a number of Arduino compatibility caveats. Probably the main on is the I/O pins are controlled by an I/O expander with approx 2ms latency. That's pretty slow compared to Arduino's slow digitalWrite() function, which run about 4us on 16 MHz AVR, or direct AVR register access, which takes 125ns.

The processor runs Linux and Arduino sketches are compiled to native Linux userspace programs, so it probably will open up a lot of possibilities.

Re:pricing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45037805)

So, they're basically throwing their weight around to try and keep students and DIY-people from walking away from x86. With something that really isn't quite as efficient as the competition. Makes you think how much faster our desktops could've been if they'd had, say, suitable MIPS chippery instead of that steaming heap of features bolted on top of features.

There's a large software vendor that routinely employs comparable tactics. Coincidence?

Re:pricing? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,21 days | (#45037967)

Given that they haven't sent assassins after the BeagleBoard team(indeed, the other big announcement from Arduino-land is that they collaborated with that group to produce a 'basically a beaglebone black with an arduino-compatible set of headers and and onboard AVR, the Tre [] , is Intel's attempt to throw their hat into the ring really so sinister?

Re:pricing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45037911)

An ATMega328 is 5 bucks. That's hard to beat.

Inigo Montoya... (5, Informative)

charlieo88 (658362) | 1 year,21 days | (#45037665)

Mini Computer? Inigo Montoya says, "I don't think that word means what you think it means."

Re:Inigo Montoya... (1)

operagost (62405) | 1 year,21 days | (#45037795)

Yeah... I was wondering how to hook up the teletype and the terminal servers.

Re:Inigo Montoya... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45037827)

Unibus or QBus?

Re:Inigo Montoya... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45037909)

The funny thing is this device is far more powerful than the old "mini" computers of yesteryear.

Re:Inigo Montoya... (1)

houghi (78078) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038213)

You mean like the Abacus [] ?

Re:Inigo Montoya... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | 1 year,21 days | (#45037921)

Well, it does have serial support. You sick 20mA loop guys are on your own, though.

Re:Inigo Montoya... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45038601)

Seriously, was 4-20ma ever a good idea?

Re:Inigo Montoya... (1)

NikeHerc (694644) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038863)

Seriously, was 4-20ma ever a good idea?

Yes, if you know how to use it. Signal and power on one wire pair and the wire pair can be really, really long if necessary. Not too shabby.

Re:Inigo Montoya... (3, Informative)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038295)

Yeah... I was wondering how to hook up the teletype and the terminal servers.

Through the Ethernet port, using SSH protocol. Ultimately, anything with preemptive multitasking and virtual memory can fill the role of a minicomputer. An 8-bit MCU is a micro, but a VAX or i386-family PC is a mini.

Re: Inigo Montoya... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45038621)

I have an LSI-11 processor on an ISA card that is plugged into a 486 motherboard. I am fairly certain it was used in a legacy application. It's frightening to think what somebody once paid for it.

Re:Inigo Montoya... (3, Interesting)

Sqr(twg) (2126054) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038345)

From Wikipedia: "In a 1970 survey, the New York Times suggested a consensus definition of a minicomputer as a machine costing less than 25 000 USD, with an input-output device such as a teleprinter and at least 4K words of memory, that is capable of running programs in a higher level language, such as Fortran or Basic."
It would seem this board meets the definition, as long as you connect it to some I/O device.

Mini computer?? (1)

sbjornda (199447) | 1 year,21 days | (#45037671)

Why call it a "mini computer" when that is so confusingly close to the well-understood term "minicomputer"? []

Re:Mini computer?? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45038031)

Hey, everybody! An old man is talking!

Re:Mini computer?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45038299)

Then show some respect.

He probably helped to invent everything you think you know about.

Re:Mini computer?? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45038399)

I'm the operator with the pocket calculator.

I'm adding, and subtracting.

When I press this special key, it plays a little melody.

because 1985 (3, Insightful)

raymorris (2726007) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038035)

The 1960s - 1970s minicomputer was gone by 1985. Thirty years later, there's no confusion and therefore no reason not to reuse the term.

Re:because 1985 (1)

idontgno (624372) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038317)

To summarize, "History is bunk" [] .

Usually spoken by someone who believes themselves immune to Santayana's Law: "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."

Re:Mini computer?? (1)

skovnymfe (1671822) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038099)

Words evolve.

Draw me a line plz (1)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038431)

If you want to discuss definitions, I'd like to know where you prefer to draw the line between a mini and a micro.

Mini computer (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45037677)

One of these?

Lots of little boards (1)

Animats (122034) | 1 year,21 days | (#45037709)

There are lots of little boards available. With reasonable CPUs and amounts of memory. Ardunos, with 2K or 8K of RAM, were just too limited.

On the other hand, having to run bloatware like Windows or Linux on an embedded board has its own headaches.

Re:Lots of little boards (4, Interesting)

highfreq2 (575192) | 1 year,21 days | (#45037773)

Linux is not inherently bloaty. The kernel and a busybox based user space run on hardware a good deal weaker than this. I love Linux for embedded systems. Its network stack is rock solid, and with the modern kernel it is pretty easy to get near realtime performance.

Re:Lots of little boards (1)

jandrese (485) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038371)

I like Linux on small devices like this, but I hate Busybox. Saving a couple of MB was a big deal back when you had 16MB of flash storage and that was it, but these days it's not unusual to have 16GB. Saving those few bytes on a version of Bash that barfs on a lot of common scripts is just dumb.

Re:Lots of little boards (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45038515)

A lot of the embedded routers are still on 8MB of FLASH and 32MB of memory.

Re:Lots of little boards (1)

highfreq2 (575192) | 1 year,21 days | (#45039213)

I don't tend to use busybox anymore because it isn't necessary. But I never found it to be that unpleasant. Most my embedded stuff only uses a few very basic shell scripts. Once someone comes up with a small ARM processor with enough on-board flash and ram for Linux, busybox will be just the thing for it.

Re:Lots of little boards (2)

jandrese (485) | 1 year,21 days | (#45039343)

What about when you bring up a shell prompt on your phone for example? My phone has 32GB of storage, but Cyanogen still uses busybox for some reason. I've yet to find a full version of the shell utilities for Android. It's annoying, especially if you want to compile stuff on the phone directly but discover that the environment is too crippled to run most build scripts.

Re:Lots of little boards (1)

Honclfibr (202246) | 1 year,21 days | (#45039539)

I like Linux on small devices like this, but I hate Busybox. Saving a couple of MB was a big deal back when you had 16MB of flash storage and that was it, but these days it's not unusual to have 16GB. Saving those few bytes on a version of Bash that barfs on a lot of common scripts is just dumb.

Then compile up bash and add it to your rootfs. That's what we do, for exactly the reasons you mentioned; I wanted to run more modern shell scripts andd busybox didn't support them. But that's ok, just because you start with busybox doesn't mean you have to stop there.

Re:Lots of little boards (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | 1 year,21 days | (#45037855)

You don't have to run Linux on it. There are any number of OSs that can run on an x86.

2-4 MB for Linux is bloated? (2)

raymorris (2726007) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038221)

I run a Linux appliance with 4MB of RAM as a VPN endpoint for my kvm, ipmi, pdu, etc. I don't consider 10 cents of RAM "bloated".

Sure for some things you don't need an operating system, but if having Linux saves five minutes of development time it may be worth the extra $5 of hardware.

Obviously if you plan to sell a million units of a particular design, omitting 10 cents worth of RAM from each saves you $100K. For hobbyists, 4MB of RAM to run Linux is very often worth it.

Re:Lots of little boards (1)

Dracos (107777) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038569)

With my first Arduino project, I'm finding the Uno's 16mhz clock speed to be more limiting than 2k of RAM.. all I'm really doing is twiddling an RGB LED strip with generated values.

I'd personally be happy if there was an Arduino with a 64 mhz clock, but Atmel doesn't make such as chip as far as I know, the fastest AVR is 32mhz, and even that would be a huge improvement.

I'm going to totally date myself here, but, (0)

nomadicGeek (453231) | 1 year,21 days | (#45037719)

Wow, imagine a Beowolf Cluster of these!

Re:I'm going to totally date myself here, but, (1)

Capt.DrumkenBum (1173011) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038125)

Thank you, I will.

Re:I'm going to totally date myself here, but, (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038207)

I'm going to totally date myself here

It's okay. No-one will judge your life choices here.

Re:I'm going to totally date myself here, but, (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45038351)

Are you hot?

The most important features (2)

hammeraxe (1635169) | 1 year,21 days | (#45037791)

Ummmm, what about the most important features of the arduino: digital I/O pins, analog input and PWM output? It looks like there might be some in the picture, but the specs don't mention anything at all...

Re:The most important features (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45037867)

How about you look at the datasheet........

Re:The most important features (2)

pjrc (134994) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038361)

The datasheet, linked from this Slashdot article, shows a full-page diagram on page 3. On the left side are the usual 6 analog inputs. On the right side are the usual 14 digital pins, with 6 clearly indicated as PWM capable.

On page 4, it says:

  14 digital input/output pins, of which 6 can be used as Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) outputs;
          o Each of the 14 digital pins on Galileo can be used as an input or output, using pinMode(),
                digitalWrite(), and digitalRead() functions.
          o The pins operate at 3.3 volts or 5 volts. Each pin can source a max of 10mA or sink a maximum of
                25 mA and has an internal pull-up resistor (disconnected by default) of 5.6k to 10 kOhms.
  A0 A5 - 6 analog inputs, via an AD7298 analog-to-digital (A/D) converter (datasheet)
          o Each of the 6 analog inputs, labeled A0 through A5, provides 12 bits of resolution (i.e., 4096
                different values). By default they measure from ground to 5 volts.
  I C bus, TWI, with SDA and SCL pins that are near to the AREF pin.
          o TWI: A4 or SDA pin and A5 or SCL pin. Support TWI communication using the Wire library.
          o Defaults to 4MHz to support Arduino Uno shields. Programmable up to 25MHz.

On page 5, the list continues:

          o Note: While Galileo has a native SPI controller, it will act as a master and not as an SPI slave.
                  Therefore, Galileo cannot be a SPI slave to another SPI master. It can act, however, as a slave
                  device via the USB Client connector.
  UART (serial port) Programmable speed UART port (Pins 0 (RX) and 1 (TX))
  ICSP (SPI) - a 6 pin in-circuit serial programming (ICSP) header, located appropriately to plug into
    existing shields. These pins support SPI communication using the SPI library.
  VIN. When using an external power source you can supply 5V through this pin.
          o Note: When using this pin to supply power to the board, it must not be greater than 5V.
  5V output pin. This pin outputs 5V from the external source or the USB connector. Maximum current
    draw to the shield is 800 mA
  3.3V output pin. A 3.3 volt supply generated by the on-board regulator. Maximum current draw to the
    shield is 800 mA
  GND. Ground pins.
  IOREF. The IOREF pin on Galileo allows an attached shield with the proper configuration to adapt to the
    voltage provided by the board. The IOREF pin voltage is controlled by a jumper on the board, i.e., a
    selection jumper on the board is used to select between 3.3V and 5V shield operation.
  RESET button/pin
          o Bring this line LOW to reset the sketch. Typically used to add a reset button to shields that block
                  the one on the board.
  AREF is unused on Galileo. Providing an external reference voltage for the analog inputs is not
          o For Galileo it is not possible to change the upper end of the analog input range using the AREF pin
                  and the analogReference() function.

Re:The most important features (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45038411)

>digital I/O pins
yes & no. it uses an internal I2C connection to the GPIO controller. there's a 2ms delay to update an I/O line.

>analog input


and only 1 I2C master and 2 SPI master.

This is not a hobby device. This is not an embedded device. It's slower than a beagleboard, uses ball grid packaging, and requires external flash & dram. It doesn't have an embedded LCD or graphics controller. It's GPIO is limited to 230hz and has no PWM.

It is the worst of all worlds. I have no idea why intel even bothered. And I especially have no idea why the press is eating it up.

Re:The most important features (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45039183)

I see someone did not read the spec sheet.

Re:The most important features (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45039353)

I see someone cannot point out where it was incorrect.

Is the JTAG Port Open? (1)

joelsherrill (132624) | 1 year,21 days | (#45037895)

Are the specifications for communication protocol over the JTAG port open? Will projects like OpenOCD ( have enough information to support this?

Sure they might have used a standard connector. But the devil is in the details.

Chipzille Costs (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45037949)

Finding Small Intel based systems that are also cheap is a problem. Some of the fanless solutions cost around $500 a go.
Not cheap by any standard.
By contrast ARM versions are a lot cheaper.
With the advent of ARM-64 CPU's they will threaten Intel in this area.

COST?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45038071)

For crying out loud, the one thing that moves these things, and nowhere in sight.

Power need? (1)

chaseDigger (2778687) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038091)

The main thing about the Arduino is its low power consumption - it is possible to embed it in just about anything and have it tag along nicely for a long ass time on a simple battery.. any idea about the Intel thing? (also, via china, lets remember that a perfectly functional Arduino clone can be had for $7 with postage, its pretty freaking hard to beat that!)

Possibilities (2)

bugs2squash (1132591) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038137)

Imagine what would happen if Atmel could develop a low cost solution that could emulate this in hardware.

Re:Possibilities (1)

unixisc (2429386) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038849)

Or if Via used its ex Cyrix/Centaur CPU as the basis of one of these?

Open? Hardly (0)

Luthair (847766) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038149)

Sorry but the hardware isn't open unless you can build it without involving Intel. I highly doubt that Intel is publishing the documents needed to go to another fab (e.g. TSMC, Samsung) to have the SoC made.

Re:Open? Hardly (4, Insightful)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038217)

And try to make an Arduino without buying an Atmel microcontroller.

Re:Open? Hardly (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45038899)

You can buy plenty on eBay. Without ATmel processors. Chinese knockoff ones. Which still count. :)

Re:Open? Hardly (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45039303)

according to intel's release, the quark is "fully synthesizable" and
fabable anywhere, even though the initial release is through intel fabs.

FreeDOS? (2)

randomErr (172078) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038161)

Can it run FreeDOS? That would make certain development much easier for me.

Um... 1971 wants you to know Intel=Hobbist (2)

coolmoose25 (1057210) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038223)

"Although Intel is Chipzilla, the company can't help but extend its reach just a bit into the exciting and growing world of DIY makers and hobbyists." []

The 4004 gave rise to the z80, the 8008, 8080, and 8086 chips that before the IBM PC came along were mainstays in the hobbyist community. It was all hobbyist, all the time back then, and heady days. So wouldn't it be fairer to say that Intel is going back to its roots rather than "reaching just a bit" in the DIY and hobbyist arena?

Re:Um... 1971 wants you to know Intel=Hobbist (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45038293)

Nice bit of revisionism there.

Re:Um... 1971 wants you to know Intel=Hobbist (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45039197)

The only 4004s I ever met were in a massive terminal-in-a-desk, kind of like an IBM 2741 but with a daisywheel instead of a golfball. Definitely not hobbyist kit.

Sure, the 8008 and later 8080 had the Altair and Imsai, but many more hobbyists were using 6502s in MOS's (later Commodore's) KIM-1 SBC, and then Apple II, Atari and others which predated the IBM PC. The Intel processors required a ton of support chips which the 6502 (and similar 6800) didn't. The latter were more popular with the hobbyist crowd. There's a reason Jobs and Wozniak didn't go Intel.

Wake me up (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45038259)

when I can download the make files and 3D print my own. It's the future.

Mini computer?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45038275)

Where I come from, mini-computers are the size of refrigerators. That's one there on my lawn. Now get the hell off!

15 Watts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45038291)

When are they going to make low power, as in runs for months on batteries, versions of these things?

Re:15 Watts? (1)

jandrese (485) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038395)

I think this thing is more designed to compete with Raspberry Pi type devices, not Arduino. Pis don't run very long on a pair of AAs, it's just not what they're designed to do.

8MB? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45038453)

8MB of flash for firmware? I have a 3mm x 5mm mini SD chip (size includes packaging), that holds 16 GB! You could have all the operating system you want, plus extra support programs and drivers, *and* even storage space for data in 16GB. Why oh why would you put such a small chip on? I know the embedded industrial controller folk usually deal with miniscule amounts of ram, but in the world of data processing, those amounts are miniscule, and certainly if you want to do data logging with this thing, its likewise useless.

Re:8MB? (1)

mlw4428 (1029576) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038645)

Did you not even read the damn summary, let alone the article? It says they have support for up to 32GB microSD.

Re:8MB? (1)

willy_me (212994) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038767)

8MB is plenty for a compressed Linux distro such as OpenWRT. The availability of an SD slot makes the limited memory irrelevant. It has enough to boot even when an SD is not present. And assuming they are using high speed FLASH on a parallel bus -- booting will be much faster then if booting directly from the SD.

Re:8MB? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038937)

They're talking here about the BIOS flash that goes into the motherboard. On an average, it used to be 4Mb, so 8MB is rather high for firmware. Unless they are planning to contain more than that - say the OS kernel, such as FreeDOS, Linux, Minix & so on. The interfaces too have evolved over time - at one time, it used to be 2Mb parallel flash, then it went to an Intel standard called Firmware Hub, a market that Intel exited as margins eroded, and now it uses SPI.

I think that a good model is that there be a NOR flash which contains the base OS i.e. the kernel. It could be FreeDOS, it could be Linux, it could be Minix, it could be the XP or ReactOS kernel, it could be the Windows 8 kernel. Separately, in a different flash, maybe even an micro SD like you suggest, they could have the drivers, userland, applications and even data. Something gets corrupted, one could easily swap the microSD cards.

Re:8MB? (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | 1 year,21 days | (#45039091)

8MB is considerably bigger than the BIOS chip on my 3GHz dual core PC, maybe 32x bigger (I don't know exactly what chip it is. I think the BIOS image is well under 100KB anyway).

Arduino Tre is a better board (4, Informative)

jcdr (178250) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038539)

Sorry for Intel, but the just announced Arduino Tre is far better from any point of views. []

* Run faster than the Intel solution: An Atom core yield the same code execution speed as an Cortex-A8 core at the same frequency, so 1GHz A8 will easily catch on a 0.4GHz ia32).
* Cheaper and simpler to design on a custom board: just look at the chip package and at the PCB routing...
* Simpler power supply design, again just look at the schematics and at the PCB.
* HDMI output.
* More I/O, and all are integrated directly into the two CPUs, not using peripheral chips with low bandwidth.
* Already supported by larges communities, for the two processors.

Intel is just trying to enter a new market with a big buzz, but there actual solution still far away from the concurrent solutions. There just don't understand that in the embedded market nobody is bounded to the ia32 instructions set. Integration is the key and there Quark X1000 don't bring anything new on the table.

Re:Arduino Tre is a better board (1)

innot (582843) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038927)

The Arduino Tre looks interesting, but it basically is an Arduino Uno bolted on top of a Raspberry Pi, while the Intel Galileo is a Raspberry Pi (sans HDMI) emulating an Arduino Uno.

I think neither will be much of a success because they will be too expensive due to the cruft they carry around to ensure a compatibility that is IMHO not needed.

Re:Arduino Tre is a better board (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45039515)

It's a BeagleBoard/Arduino Combo. No Pi here.

Re:Arduino Tre is a better board (1)

unixisc (2429386) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038973)

That's true, but even in the embedded market, a major advantage of IA32 is that in addition to Linux & NetBSD, which is common, there is also Minix and FreeDOS. The last is one of the first OSs ever used and allows direct access to the hardware, simplifying a lot of stuff. Is something like that there on ARM or any other RISC platform as well? One thing that QuarkX1000 brings is that an OS can be ported and made to support all the simple functions that some OSs miss out on (HURD, I'm looking at you w/ USB 2).

Re:Arduino Tre is a better board (2)

AmiMoJo (196126) | 1 year,21 days | (#45039529)

Which all completely misses the point of the Arduino. It was never about performance, it was about making things easy, and having a community build around a common platform. The people who use it just want to write some logic that glues libraries and shields together.

There are many, many better options if you need more power or flexibility. All these spin-off devices are fine but always need more knowledge to understand and use. Traditional Arduino users aren't at that level, and people who are don't need this kind of thing anyway.

Still, good luck to them.

Coreboot supported? Free software friendly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45038689)

That's allmost all that f'ing matters really. Give me a board where we have free software friendly BIOS, audio, 3d graphics drivers, video output, decent ram (2-4GB would be ideal or better yet memory slots so I can pick how much I want), SATA port, ethernet, and flash, please. I'll pay for it too. $150 isn't too much if you have all that.

Re:Coreboot supported? Free software friendly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#45039087)

mini-itx to the rescue, the cpu is conveniently soldered on the board. run linux or win x86 and not have to mess with strange distros, only real issue is ethernet and graphics drivers

Re:Coreboot supported? Free software friendly? (1)

0123456 (636235) | 1 year,21 days | (#45039265)

The only one of those missing from my old $85 Intel dual-core Atom mini-ITX board is the flash.

Re:Coreboot supported? Free software friendly? (1)

Blaskowicz (634489) | 1 year,21 days | (#45039503)

Missing are free 3D drivers, too. In fact, on a dual core Atom with PowerVR GPU and ubuntu 13.04, basic xv video output wasn't working properly so you barely have a 2D driver.

Why did Intel made this Arduino compatible? (4, Interesting)

innot (582843) | 1 year,21 days | (#45038733)

While I like the idea of having an Arduino compatible board running Linux to do some more advanced projects, I don't understand what drove Intel to force this board to be Arduino compatible. The Quark processor is not designed for this sort of stuff as it has neither a sufficient number of GPIO pins nor any ADCs. It sure has a lot of interfaces (SPI, I2C, PCI-E, SD-Card, Serial etc.), but it lacks the things that are useful for a hacker project.

So they had to include a separate GPIO extender chip (over a slow I2C interconnect) as well as an separate ADC. The Quark SoC has some 15 GPIO Pins, the extender another 40. But of those 55 Pins only 20 GPIO pins are actually available on the Arduino shield pins -- the rest is used for all the Muxes to switch pins between the ADC, the GPIO Extender and the Quark SoC to emulate the flexibility of the Arduino AVR processor.

While I haven't looked at the actual PCB schematic, I think the board layout is also strange. The ADC is on the opposite side from the analog input pins, meaning that all analog signals have to travel a long distance in the vicinity of some high speed digital signals. And the GPIO Extender Chip is on the opposite corner from all the digital output pins.

This, together with the BGA devices (SoC, RAM), seem to indicate that this is at least an 6 layer board which will make it hard to clone this design -- something that IMHO has contributed to the success of the Arduino. The Schematic [] for this board has 27 pages compared to the single page of the Arduino Uno []

It seems that this Board is designed more as a competitor to the Raspberry Pi than to the Arduino, both in price and in features.The Arduino compatibility is just some marketing thing which makes the board overly complex and more expensive than it needs to be.

But hey, it sure must be fun to employ a few million transistors and a full blown operating system to run the Arduino Blink demo :-)

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