Intel has announced its de facto departure from the maker market, ending production of its Galileo, Edison, and Joule product ranges - the latter less than a year old.
It's no secret that the explosion of interest in low-power processors for embedded and mobile use caught Intel by surprise - former chief executive Paul Otellini was quite vocal on that subject
- but of late Intel has been working hard to redress the balance. Its Quark processor, announced back in 2013
as an ultra-low-power design capable of running on harvested energy
and based on the company's original Pentium microarchitecture, has been a major part of that push - but all the hardware in the world won't help you in a market where rival architecture ARM rules the roost.
As a means of tempting embedded developers over to the x86 side of the street, Intel announced a range of Quark-based products aimed at the maker market: 2013's Arduino-compatible Galileo development board
was followed by the promise of a full microcomputer the size of an SD Card
, later switched from the poor-performing Quark to the faster Atom
and losing the SD Card form factor. Many of the major issues with the original Galileo were addressed in 2014 with the Galileo Gen. 2
release, while in 2015 Intel aimed at wearable projects with the Quark SE and Curie platforms
. Finally, in August last year Intel announced the robotics-centric Joule computer-on-module (CoM) designs
, featuring quad-core Atom processors and up to 4GB of LPDDR4 memory but at a hefty price.
Now, though, all that work appears to have been for nought: Intel has confirmed that the Galileo, Edison, and Joule families are now entering a wind-down period that will see them leaving the market by the end of the year. This includes the full Joule range, less than a year after it was launched, though selected Edison modules - not counting the Edison Kit for Arduino and Edison Breakout Board Kit, the two accessories aimed squarely at makers - will be available into 2018.
The announcements, first spotted by Hardware Info
, do not include a reason for the product lines' discontinuance, though poor sales are a likely culprit. They also do not cover the company's Curie module, pairing Quark cores with an Argonaut RISC Core (ARC) originally developed to add 3D graphics acceleration to Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) games but now used as a real-time processor for embedded applications, which continues to be sold to makers via the company's partnership with the Arduino project