Intel to Showcase Quark-Based Wearable Devices at the Consumer Electronics Show Next Week

Intel to Demo New Devices, Unleash New Quark Processor at CES

by Anton Shilov
01/03/2014 | 11:28 PM

Intel Corp. intends to showcase new types of wearable computing devices at the International Consumer Electronics trade-show. Besides, the world’s largest producer of microprocessors intends to unveil a new Quark system-on-chip (SoC) for ultra-mobile devices.

 

Intel has not managed to plant its chips into iPhone and iPad back in 2007 and 2010, respectively, despite of continuous talks between chief executives of Intel and Apple back in the 2000s. The company also missed a lot of Google Android-powered devices because it concentrated on the market of notebooks in a bid to make high-performance microprocessors that consume a low amount of energy. Unfortunately for Intel, the market of personal computers is stagnating, whereas the market of application processors for mobile devices is growing and companies like Mediatek or Qualcomm are prospering.

The Santa Clara, California-based chip giant is not standing still. The company is working on new 64-bit system-on-chips for smartphones and tablets. Besides, the firm is developing Quark processors for ultra-low-power consumer electronics. Moreover, Intel is not only designing new chips, it is also creating prototypes of products that can feature them. Reference designs of Intel’s new wearable computing devices will be showcased at the forthcoming CES 2014 show.

“Wearables is wide open. What you will see at CES is that we are actually going to bring some very innovative wearables to the show that are developed and manufactured here,” said Brian Krzanich, chief executive officer of Intel, in an interview with Recode.net web-site.

At the show, the world’s largest maker of microprocessors will demonstrate wearable devices powered by Quark. Intel demonstrated smart-watch device featuring its chip back in September, 2013. At CES 2014 it is logical to expect the company to demo smart goggles akin to Google Glass or other innovative gear. At the same time, keep in mind that Intel does not sell devices, it sells chips to actual manufacturers of products. Wearable things that Intel plans to show are likely be far from commercialization.

Intel seems to be certain that the Quark can be utilized for a wide range of intelligent electronics devices. In addition to demonstrating new devices, Intel will also reveal a new Quark chip. At present, the SoC is only inside certain heating and air conditioning systems in Europe, but the chipmaker expects them to emerge in other devices as well.

“Our view is that Quark can make almost everything smart. We’ll show you some things that you would never have thought could become smart and communicate,” said Mr. Krzanich.

Intel Quark SoC X1000 is a 32-bit, single core, single-thread, Pentium instruction set architecture (ISA)-compatible CPU with 16KB L1 cache, 512KB L2 cache, operating at speeds up to 400MHz. It features computing industry standard I/O interfaces, including ACPI, PCI Express, 10/100Mb Ethernet, SD, USB 2.0 device and EHCI/OHCI USB host ports, high-speed UART, RS-232 serial port, programmable 8MB NOR flash, and a JTAG port for easy debug. Specifications of the new Quark SoC will be released at the trade-show.