Intel Edison PC – the size of an SD card, only bigger (via INTEL)

Intel made headlines in January when it promised the delivery of an SD card-sized personal computer at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show. The company, however, recently admitted that they overestimated their capabilities. The Edison PC will be “slightly larger” than expected, after all.


The chip was initially designed to be the size and shape of an SD card and support a Linux-based PC with WiFi and Bluetooth functionality. It was expected to be built using Intel’s Quark system-on-a-chip, but it unfortunately came up short. Now, the technology giant instead opted for dubbing out the Quark for the 22nm Silvermont dual-core Intel Atom SOC processor, which will give the PC more power and reliable performance, but will inevitably increase the expected size of the tiny PC.


The Atom increases the capability of the PC through its dual-threaded, dual-core 500MHz CPU. It has an additional MCU and more than 30 I/O interfaces through 70-pin connectors. It is expected to be far more durable, reliable and powerful that the Quark, the inclusion of which Intel claims it is still working on.


The capability of the mini PC was also promising. At the CES Intel portrayed the capability of the product through its “Nursery 2.0” concept, which dressed a baby in a sensor-filled onesie that let Mom know when baby was happy or upset, by displaying information on Mom’s coffee mug. Mom was also able to use the technology to start up baby’s bottle warmer wirelessly so a bottle would be ready as soon as it was needed.


While this sounded great, when Intel announced changing the size of the Edison PC, it also announced that it might change its function. When Intel presented the chip, it had wearables in mind. With the technology shift, however, the Edison PC is not very different from chips already available on the market, so the company reported it would change its focus to simplify the design process for the building of an SD form factor.


Intel did not announce how much larger the Edison PC will be. Regardless, the chip is still expected to launch this upcoming summer.



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