back to article Intel aims for PC-style position in drones, robots and wearables

The need to control not just the processor itself, but the whole surrounding software and connectivity platform, was very clear in Intel’s launches and keynotes a last week's Consumer Electronics Show. While the PC and smartphone processors or SoCs have been premium products, in semiconductor terms, in the IoT the hardware …

  1. Gordon 10 Silver badge

    they've lost already

    The problem is that 99% of the hardware in this space is mature and most of it is connected to ARM.

    Most of the remaining problems are software related.

    Intel have missed the boat apart from small places where their ability to integrate stuff at the silicon level might come in handy.

    1. the spectacularly refined chap

      Re: they've lost already

      Intel have missed the boat apart from small places where their ability to integrate stuff at the silicon level might come in handy.

      I don't really see that. If anything Intel are constrained by their sheer size, they can't chase down every little niche. If you look at their SoCs they are generally focussed on minimising the BoM on a PC-style system: If you need a few GB of DDR3, SATA, PCIe etc they're good to go. Something that looks less like a PC they don't have much to offer.

      ARM and to a lesser extent MIPS win on their diversified supply chain with each vendor tailoring their offering with a much tighter focus. You get a rough idea what you want, say a 32 bitter with this much RAM, this much GPIO and these interfaces. You then go out shopping. Can't do that for Intel.

      As Flocke Kroes suggests the price point for Intel is all wrong for the smallest systems: ARM may have a e.g. a $3 offering that pus everything on chip. The Intel offering costs $15 and needs external memory and storage on a high-speed circuit board on top.

  2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Intel are really good at expensive processors

    Intel will not be any good at cheap CPUs until selling a cheap CPU does not replace the sale of an expensive one. That day is clearly coming, but until then, I will be sticking with ARM and MIPS.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Intel are really good at expensive processors

      I've been burned by their IOT offerings.

      Galileo I --- $70USD and it can't bit bit bang as fast a $5 Arduino nano ...

      Galileo II --- insane development environment based on Yocto, you have to jump through hoops for a nice RPM base system ...

      Edison Breakout 1,7V IO and accessing the I/O a real pain

      Saw their Arduinio 101 ... and at 4mA per I/O channel can't drive nice LEDs ....

      I can get a PI zero (which would be an Intel killer if it had wifi/BT on it) for $4 and it can run standard linux ..

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Are those all the devices that people have expressed their indifference to? Why yes I believe they are.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here be Monsters

    Intel's R&D organizations (in my neck of the woods, at least) offer little or no reward to the individual for innovation or risk taking. In fact, innovators tend to be perceived as threats to others' job security by peers and managers alike. Further, an innovative design or product based upon a novel concept will get its developer(s) terminated (or sold) if the first specimens/prototypes don't immediately show blindingly bright promise or if there is no immediately identifiable high volume market. Anyone remember "OnCue"? Also known as "Intel TV"? Over time, this practice of selling or abandoning imperfect market niches helps Intel to shed innovators, pioneers and visionaries at all levels of employment. It also reinforces the inclination of survivors to avoid any product or technology that lacks an existing, large and well defined market. Intel pursues smart phones, networking software, drones, IoT widgets, and other "pop" technology because it needs to move, and its collective nature will not allow it to enter uncharted territories where unoccupied niches exist. Intel avoids those areas of the map marked as, "Here be Monsters".

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