Intel unveils button-sized Curie module for wearables

On the heels of its Broadwell-U and Cherry Trail announcements, Intel has unveiled a diminutive hardware module aimed at wearables. Dubbed Curie, the module is based on Intel's Quark system-on-a-chip and can power devices "the size of a button." Here's how it looks:

And here's what's inside, according to Intel:

  • Low-power, 32-bit Intel® Quark™ microcontroller
  • 384kB flash memory, 80kB SRAM
  • Low-power, integrated DSP sensor hub with proprietary pattern matching accelerator
  • Bluetooth Low Energy
  • 6-axis combo sensor with accelerometer and gyroscope
  • Battery charging circuitry (PMIC)

This isn't just a demonstration of the chipmaker's miniaturization mojo. Curie is a real product that's on track to ship in the second half of 2015.

The announcement is a little short on specifics about exactly what devices Curie will power. Nevertheless, Intel has announced a "strategic wearables collaboration" with eyewear brand Oakley. The two companies are "working on an intelligent product, available later this year, designed to enhance athletes' performance."

More broadly, Intel says it expects to see wearable devices "created by companies that have historically never used silicon before." The chipmaker anticipates that silicon-driven "rings, bags, bracelets, pendants and yes, buttons, will all be possible."

Comments closed
    • Mad_Dane
    • 6 years ago

    But(ton) can it run Crysis?

    • VincentHanna
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]Dubbed Curie, the module is based on Intel's Quark system-on-a-chip and can power devices "the size of a button."[/quote<] Dubbed Curie, the module is based on Intel's Quark system-on-a-chip and can power devices "the size[b<]AND SHAPE[/b<] of a button." ftfy that is gonna be one funny looking pair of eyeglasses.

    • WhatMeWorry
    • 6 years ago

    These things are getting so small it is a good thing intel decided to go with a lower case ‘i’.

      • jihadjoe
      • 6 years ago

      Kudos to whoever builds a system with this thing dotting the i.

    • Generic
    • 6 years ago

    All right. This is my first time trying one of these, so be gentle…

    “But, can it play upward.inflection([i<][un-optimized game][/i<])?"

      • psuedonymous
      • 6 years ago

      It does not meet the minimum system requirements to run Doom. Therefore it does not qualify as a computer, and is relegated to a 555 with delusions of grandeur.

    • Ninjitsu
    • 6 years ago

    NO PCI-E SLOT, NO SALE.

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      Totally! How the heck am I supposed to use that thing at LAN parties without enough expansion for at least a 2-card SLI!!!

      Suck it Intel!

        • NeelyCam
        • 6 years ago

        This is a monopolistic move, trying to cut AMD and NVidia out of the market.

      • Farting Bob
      • 6 years ago

      I’m going to watercool it and mine for bitcoins.

        • willmore
        • 6 years ago

        It looks like a bitcoin.

    • Grigory
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]Dubbed Curie, the module is based on Intel's Quark system-on-a-chip and can power devices "the size of a button."[/quote<] No it can't. It can't "power" anything because it is a power sink, not a power source.

      • BoilerGamer
      • 6 years ago

      Intel is talking about computing power, not electric power.

        • Grigory
        • 6 years ago

        I know. I’m just in a bad mood.

    • cmrcmk
    • 6 years ago

    Finally, an aftermarket button I can add to my pants that will measure strain and tell me if I over-ate. The future is now!

      • Wirko
      • 6 years ago

      Only overeaters will be buying these. So the answer will be a hardcoded ‘yes’ but no one will notice.

    • anotherengineer
    • 6 years ago

    But will it work in these temps?

    [url<]http://www.theweathernetwork.com/weather/canada/ontario/timmins[/url<]

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      Good news: I have declared Global Warming so you don’t have to worry about those temperatures anymore.

      Of course, with Global Warming you won’t need a jacket so I’m not sure where the buttons will go, but we’ll work something out.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 6 years ago

        I need buttons on my jorts.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 6 years ago

      Ya, you can even over clock it then, eh!

    • willmore
    • 6 years ago

    Can’t run a full OS, so what’s the point of all that x86 baggage?

    Said another way, what does Intel bring to the table that dozens of other companies haven’t already brought there?

      • sweatshopking
      • 6 years ago

      Code portability? Might be decent for microsoft’s IOT push. Details are currently limited, but I bet they’re talking to intel.

        • willmore
        • 6 years ago

        What code? All that IOT legacy x86 code?

          • sweatshopking
          • 6 years ago

          Microsoft’s IOT is win 10 based. So yes.

      • chuckula
      • 6 years ago

      [quote<] what does Intel bring to the table that dozens of other companies haven't already brought there?[/quote<] Advanced lithography, which buys you: 1. Widespread compiler support (even if it's not running on a fullblown OS) 2. Lots and lots of integration (DSP, sensors, bluetooth all for free? Yes please) 3. Probably excellent processor performance for this particular niche.

      • smilingcrow
      • 6 years ago

      What have the Romans ever done for us?
      [url<]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9foi342LXQE[/url<]

    • The Egg
    • 6 years ago

    I imagine this will be powering the self-drying coat which will be coming out later this year.

      • Terra_Nocuus
      • 6 years ago

      And the self-lacing shoes!

        • Wirko
        • 6 years ago

        And the self-peeling potatos!

    • chuckula
    • 6 years ago

    [quote<]384kB flash memory, 80kB SRAM[/quote<] Interestly... WON'T run Linux... or any other heavy-weight OS. This is down in microcontroller territory so get ready for fun with very low-level programming.

      • Thrashdog
      • 6 years ago

      Somewhere, Bill Gates is shouting “What is this, memory for ants? It needs to be, like eight times bigger!”

        • chuckula
        • 6 years ago

        How are the kids going to play Angry Birds when it can’t even fit into resident memory!

          • cmrcmk
          • 6 years ago

          Angry Birds: [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_Graphics_Adapter<]CGA[/url<] edition!

            • jihadjoe
            • 6 years ago

            ARTILLERY.BAS

        • MadManOriginal
        • 6 years ago

        Yes, but no more than 8x as much.

          • Thrashdog
          • 6 years ago

          thatsthejoke.jpg

        • VincentHanna
        • 6 years ago

        shouldn’t he be shouting “I don’t forsee a day when 80k isn’t more than enough for anyone!”

        • alloyD
        • 6 years ago

        Developed at the Microsoft Center for SOCs that Can’t Compute Good and Want to Learn to Do Other Stuff Good Too.

      • jihadjoe
      • 6 years ago

      Hmm I wonder if it can be made to run DOS 1.0.

        • bhtooefr
        • 6 years ago

        Depends on whether it’s an AT-compatible system (the Quark X1000 series is, but I doubt this is).

    • Milo Burke
    • 6 years ago

    I’ve always wanted a peacoat with smart-buttons.

      • Thrashdog
      • 6 years ago

      It’ll repeat “The hardest button to button” every time it detects that you’ve not successfully buttoned it.

    • chuckula
    • 6 years ago

    OK 2 points:

    1. With a name like Curie there better be some plutonium and a micro-RTG in there!

    2. Meh, the GPU in my Kaveri has better graphics.

      • Pwnstar
      • 6 years ago

      You have a Kaveri?

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