At IDF in September, Intel revealed a tiny Quark processor that's one fifth the size of an Atom SoC. It quickly followed up with a Galileo development board that pairs the chip with an Arduino-compatible platform. Now, a dual-core version of the Quark CPU has made its way into Edison, a tiny PC the size of an SD card.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich introduced Edison during his CES keynote last night. He didn't reveal too many specifics, but we know the device has dual Quark cores clocked at 400MHz. The processor is fabbed on a 22-nm process, and it's backed by a handful of onboard goodies. Edison has integrated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity in addition to LPDDR2 memory and NAND-based storage. Intel hasn't revealed exactly how much memory and storage has been squeezed inside the tiny form factor, though.
Edison is designed to bring low-power computing to a range of devices, including the "Internet of things" and wearables. Intel seems particularly keen on the latter. It demoed Edison in a smart onesie from Rest Devices that's capable of monitoring a baby's breathing, temperature, and motion. Intel has also worked with partners to develop biometric earbuds that track the user's heart rate and a Bluetooth headset with always-on voice recognition and all-day battery life. It's unclear whether those two "reference designs" are based on Edison specifically, but they appear to have Quark inside.
Intel is dabbling in wireless power, too. It showed off a charging bowl capable of juicing multiple devices "without exact alignment or placement." The bowl uses magnetic resonance to provide power, and Intel notes that the technology is "the foundation for the A4WP industry specification" supported by big names like Qualcomm, Samsung, LG, HTC, and others. The firm wants to bring wireless charging not only to wearables, but also to smartphones, tablets, and notebooks.