Intel Edison – embedded IoT made easy

13th June 2014

Intel’s new Edison development platform is the first in a series of low-cost, product-ready, general-purpose embedded computing platforms from Intel that are aimed at lowering the barriers to entry for work in Internet-of-Things and wearable computing applications for the entire community of developers and users, from hobbyists and makers to consumer electronics developers and industrial Internet-of-Things engineers.

The Edison packs a robust set of features into its small size, delivering strong performance built around a leading-edge dual-core Intel Atom system-on-chip combined with a separate single-core microcontroller, along with good hardware durability and a broad spectrum of hardware interfaces and software support.

These versatile features allow the platform to deliver strong value to a wide range of developers and users working with Internet-of-Things, wearable computing, and other embedded computing applications.

Thanks to the integrated Wi-Fi, integrated Bluetooth Low Energy, onboard memory and generous storage, and support for more than 30 different industry-standard hardware I/O interfaces via its 70-pin connector for integration with peripheral devices and other hardware, the Edison is ready for a wide range of applications.

Furthermore with out-of-the-box compatibility and support with software and tools such as Yocto Linux, the Arduino IDE, and the Python, Node.js and Wolfram languages, using the Edison with many open-source community software tools such as these enable ease of adoption and also inspire third-party app developers to build apps for consumers and industrial applications on top of the Intel Edison platform.

This is Intel’s second product targeted partially at the hobbyist, inventor and maker market, following Intel’s Arduino-compatible Galileo platform – however it isn’t limited to that market at all. The Edison development board is a computer only about the size of an SD card, and its unique combination of small size, power, rich capabilities and ecosystem support inspires creativity and enables rapid innovation from prototype to production for professional, hobbyist or education users.

Created for rapid innovation, prototyping and product development, Edison can be configured to be interoperable with just about any device, allowing you to quickly prototype simple interactive designs or tackle more complex projects with an embedded computer that offers much more power, onboard storage and networking capability than a simple 8-bit microcontroller.

During the development process Intel has reported an enthusiastic response to this product from Internet-of-Things entrepreneurs, engineers and the maker community, as well as consumer electronics and industrial machine-to-machine companies.

Intel has decided that in order to best address a broader range of market segments and customer needs, the Intel Edison platform will be extended to a family of different development boards, with notable enhancements over similar existing offerings that include the use of Intel’s leading-edge dual-core Atom system-on-chip, increased I/O capabilities and software support, and a new, simplified industrial design. 

Intel edison development board

These engineering improvements promise greater performance, increased durability and reductions in cost whilst keeping the device very compact. While Intel works to extend the family of its Quark system-on-chips, they have bought the Edison development board to market now in order to meet a broad range of market growth in the embedded and IoT sector.

Edison offers a dual-core, dual-threaded 500 MHz CPU combined with an additional external microcontroller and over 30 different I/O interfaces connected to external systems via a small 70-pin connector, providing a powerful and flexible hardware platform that offers solid performance and good value for wearable or small-form-factor application and hardware development.

System integration is easy as popular networking technologies such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Low Energy are supported by the Edison platform with no extra hardware needed, and the board itself is only slightly physically larger than an SD card.

Intel believes the Edison platform will provide more value for embedded computing users with its simplified design process, increased durability and value for money, with this new family of different boards and products offering individuals and small, innovative companies a compelling platform to introduce smart and connected wearable computing designs and Internet-of-Things products that will delight people in new and unexpected ways.

As an example of the Edison platform in action, Intel has demonstrated the Mimo baby monitor from Rest Devices. Based on a tiny Edison-based computer packaged into a toy turtle the size of a baby’s hand, the system receives data from sensors worn on a baby’s clothing, monitoring temperature, breathing, motion and more, and transmits its information to a smartphone via Bluetooth Low Energy, eliminating the need for an external receiver.

Besides sending the baby’s data to an app on the parents’ iOS or Android device, this compact Edison-based wearable computer can trigger actions on connected devices, such as an automatic bottle warmer accompanying the system demonstrated by Intel and Rest Devices which also incorporates a networked Intel Edison board inside.

Thanks to the tiny size and ease of integration into existing and new designs, the Edison platform will accelerate the design and production of almost any connected device.

And with our team here at the LX group, it’s simple to get prototypes of your devices based on the Edison up and running – which also translates to lowering the cost of the system development through to the final product. We can partner with you – finding synergy with your ideas and our experience to create final products that exceed your expectations.

To get started, join us for an obligation-free and confidential discussion about your ideas and how we can help bring them to life – click here to contact us, or telephone 1800 810 124.

LX is an award-winning electronics design company based in Sydney, Australia. LX services include full turnkey design, electronics, hardware, software and firmware design. LX specialises in embedded systems and wireless technologies design.

Published by LX Pty Ltd for itself and the LX Group of companies, including LX Design House, LX Solutions and LX Consulting, LX Innovations.

Muhammad AwaisIntel Edison – embedded IoT made easy

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