Intel's Edison ditches SD form factor, adopts Atom SoC


— 6:00 AM on April 2, 2014

Remember that tiny Edison computer Intel revealed at CES in January? The system was the size of an SD card, but it packed a dual-core Quark processor, wireless connectivity, and onboard memory and storage. Edison was supposed to power wearables and devices in the "Internet of Things," and it apparently generated a lot of interest. Intel has decided to expand the product "to a family of development boards," the first of which will be somewhat larger and more powerful than what was shown in January.

This Intel blog post explains that the initial offering will be "slightly larger than an SD card." It will be based on a "simplified industrial design," but there's no indication of what shape that might take. Intel suggests the design will be more durable and affordable than the SD form factor, though.

Under the hood, the first Edison offering will feature an Atom-based SoC with dual Silvermont cores clocked at 500MHz. The individual cores should be much more capable than those in the Quark chip, and they're clocked higher, too. The Atom SoC also serves up a more robust collection of integrated I/O; over 30 I/O interfaces will be accessible through Edison's "small 70-pin connector."

The Edison family was expanded to "best address a broader range of market segments and consumer needs," Intel says. A Quark-based product is apparently still on the way, but it may be delayed pending a version of the chip with more cores. Intel has prioritized the Atom-based Edison product while it works to "extend the Intel Quark SoC family with multi-core offerings." Thanks to Gizmodo for the tip.

   
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