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

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.

Comments closed
    • Milo Burke
    • 6 years ago

    Perhaps they can aim for their next form factor to be compact flash.

    • puppetworx
    • 6 years ago

    Great, now I can mine BitCoin from my fedora, post selfies from my wayfarers and neknominate from my Converse…

    This ‘wearables’ hype is so stupid, without a decent interface this stuff is going nowhere.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 6 years ago

      Isn’t Fedora an OS???

        • Ninjitsu
        • 6 years ago

        Also a hat.

        • NeelyCam
        • 6 years ago

        It’s not a real OS.

        • NovusBogus
        • 6 years ago

        I want a fedora that runs Fedora.

    • colinstu12
    • 6 years ago

    I think the “SD” card form factor was more of a proof-of-concept (really able to cram that much stuff in such a small area) than something actually usable / what people wanted/needed in a form factor.

    Like plugs. and wires (ribbons). where do those go? breakout boards that quadruple its size?

    Cool tech Intel, keep it up.

      • UberGerbil
      • 6 years ago

      Yeah, it was a great publicity stunt, but it was pretty obvious that’s all it was.

      • NovusBogus
      • 6 years ago

      Awww, and I was just starting to devise all sorts of villainy that would be possible with a computer on an SD card.

    • JosiahBradley
    • 6 years ago

    We are really getting to the point that IPv6 is required for all these tiny network capable devices. However are we going to hit network saturation from interference first? Image if everyone not only had a cellphone using wi-fi/(x)G but several other radio chips strapped to themselves. And how are all these mini devices going to get power without advances in battery/charging tech. Are we going to carry around battery backpacks for everything? Technology is a giant circle, we make multiple devices to conquer each task, miniaturize, then recombine all those functions into one device and then repeat.

    So many questions, so few answers. Definitely thought provoking.

      • way2strong
      • 6 years ago

      I’ve never been convinced the ‘internet of things’ concept is worth pursuing.

        • Farting Bob
        • 6 years ago

        I still can’t take it seriously when it’s got such a stupid sounding name. Also, i agree in that i dont see how everything that uses power needs to be connected to the internet and to every other thing connected to the internet.

          • Chrispy_
          • 6 years ago

          With people like you we will never get Skynet.
          HUMBUG.

        • Ninjitsu
        • 6 years ago

        True. I mean, do i care if my microwave shows me the weather?

        (No.)

        • NeelyCam
        • 6 years ago

        This 802.11b is a stupid idea – it’s so ridiculously slow! 100Mb/s ethernet is, like, 100 times faster

      • XTF
      • 6 years ago

      Why would these devices need a public IP address? A private one behind NAT should suffice.

        • JosiahBradley
        • 6 years ago

        So in addition to all these portable devices, we would need to have a powered wireless router to address NATing. When does the madness end?

          • Kurotetsu
          • 6 years ago

          [quote=”JosiahBradley”<]we would need to have a powered wireless router to address NATing.[/quote<] Your smartphone?

          • demani
          • 6 years ago

          A cell phone is pretty much the perfect gateway if it can be done with low power Bluetooth connections. The LAN stays local, and there are few times people would have their other gadgets but not bring their phone. And there are plenty of potential uses, but clearly the interface will be key. Companies that have the chops to make things useable will have the advantage over the ones that just connect the devices and leave the hard work just to the individual product vendors (Smart TVs are a shining example how bad that can go).

            • UberGerbil
            • 6 years ago

            The idea of a “Personal Area Network” has been around a long time (longer than Bluetooth and its “piconet” idea). I’m still waiting.

            • DarkMikaru
            • 6 years ago

            Great idea. Problem here is that all the ISP’s wanna charge you for “tethering”. That can get expensive real quick.

        • Kurotetsu
        • 6 years ago

        [quote=”XTF”<]Why would these devices need a public IP address? A private one behind NAT should suffice.[/quote<] Doesn't Bluetooth, which most smartphones have, already address this problem?

        • just brew it!
        • 6 years ago

        How else is the NSA supposed to “reach out and touch you”?

        • NovusBogus
        • 6 years ago

        It’s harder to spy on people if they’re sitting behind a firewall.

    • PainIs4ThaWeak1
    • 6 years ago

    They obviously weren’t targeting ME… because I don’t need one.

      • fredsnotdead
      • 6 years ago

      You need what we tell you you need!

        • PainIs4ThaWeak1
        • 6 years ago

        Ohhhh, I get it! (Create the product, THEN create the ‘need’.)

        How groundbreaking!

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