Intel abandons part of its IoT business
The world’s largest chipmaker considers itself well positioned to capitalize on the internet of things, because it makes chipsets for devices, networking gear and data center servers. But one part of Intel’s IoT business has not gotten off to a good start. The company has discontinued three of its chipsets that were marketed to developers of IoT devices. Known as Galileo, Edison, and Joule the three products were competing with other boards that developers found easier to use because documentation and support were more readily available.
Many developers of IoT devices are starting with a Raspberry Pi, which packs less compute power than an Intel board, but can be purchased for less than half the price. Although Edison, Galileo and Joule were inexpensive compared to many other Intel solutions, they may not have looked cheap compared to the Raspberry Pi. In addition, Raspberry Pi users also benefit from a community of hobbyists and inventors who are eager to share information and examples of their work, something Intel was not able to replicate.
Intel is not discontinuing its Curie module, which is a component of the popular Arduino 101 development board. The coin-sized Curie module can also be purchased separately from the Arduino board. Curie is powered by Intel’s 32-bit Quark SE system-on-chip.
Semiconductor analyst Linley Gwennap, founder of The Linley Group, said Intel is canceling its next generation Quark processor, as part of its shift away from IoT development boards.
“It seems like they are kind of backing off this part of their IoT strategy,” said Gwennap. “Intel has never really been a company that was good at selling very inexpensive chips. … Intel likes to focus on products that are more valuable. I think what they’re doing now is realigning their IoT strategy more around the data center and the cloud, where they obviously dominate, and the edge, where they can provide intelligence.”
The bigger opportunity for the chipmaker is in the network infrastructure that will support IoT endpoints and analyze the data they collect. Intel’s Valerie Young, a strategic solution technologist, discussed the company’s views on network infrastructure and the IoT at this year’s Enterprise IoT Summit in Austin, Texas.