ARM Brings Out Marketing Guns - Says Intel Quark Too Hot for Wearables

Subject: Processors, Mobile | February 21, 2014 - 10:47 AM |
Tagged: wearables, wearable computing, quark, Intel, arm

On a post from the official ARM blogs, the guns are blazing in the battle for the wearable market mind share.  Pretty much all the currently available wearable computing devices are using ARM-based processors but that hasn't prevented Intel from touting its Quark platform as the best platform for wearables.  There are still lots of questions about Quark when it comes to performance and power consumption but ARM decided to pit its focus on heat.

For a blog post on ARM's website

Intel’s Quark is an example that has a relatively low level of integration, but has still been positioned as a solution for wearables. Fine you may think, there are plenty of ARM powered communication chipsets it could be paired with, but a quick examination of the development board brings the applicability further into question. Quark runs at a rather surprising, and sizzling to the touch, 57°C. The one attribute it does offer is a cognitive awareness, not through any hardware integration suitable for the wearable market, but from the inbuilt thermal management hardware (complete with example code), which in the attached video you can see is being used to toggle a light switch once touched by a finger which, acting as a heat sync, drops the temperature below 50°C.

Along with this post is a YouTube video that shows this temperature testing taking place.

Of course, when looking at competitive analysis between companies you should always take the results as tentative at best.  There is likely to be some change between the Quark Adruino board (Galileo) integration of the X1000 and what would make it into a final production wearable device.  Obviously this is something Intel is award of as well and they are also aware of what temperature means for devices that users will have such direct contact with.  

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The proof will be easy to see, either way, as we progress through 2014. Will device manufacturers integrated Quark in any final design wins and what will the user experience of those units be like?  

Still, it's always interesting to see marketing battles heat up between these types of computing giants.

Source: ARM

February 21, 2014 | 12:25 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yes but with Intel OEMs also get a ring through their nose, because after all of the price supports from Intel end, the servitude begins, and any OEM that buys in to the Intel proposition will soon find this out, OEMs that have had dealings in the past know this. The "internet of things" already has a licensed IP model CPU, that gives the OEM the maxium control over the design and the supply of CPU parts, and the price on these non Intel CPUs will always remain as low as healthy competition allows. There is no monolithic supplier of these ARM based licensed IP CPUs, as they are made by an entire industry, in fact many suppliers of mobile devices have made their own CPU parts, or contracted with third party designers and SOC system integraters to have custom CPU made to the OEM's exact specifications, and price points. The same goes for mobile GPUs, and many of the other on die functional blocks that make up these ARM based SOCs, as the licensed IP model, has been in the mobile devices market from the very beginning.

There is no going back to the serfdom!

February 21, 2014 | 12:38 PM - Posted by Nathaniel (not verified)

Wow, I would at least try to compare apples to apples. And who knows what exactly they were running on the galileo. But if you look at Raspberry pi temperatures, the galileo temperatures don't seem too hot. Sure if it's sitting idle the raspberry pi is a little cooler, but there are a lot of factors that to into it.

February 21, 2014 | 01:30 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The ARM CPU in the PI is not the lowest power CPU that uses ARM IP, Quark is Intel's attempt to get x86 running in wearable devices, and there are ARM SKUs from many suppliers, that have been optimized for low power, something that Intel never invested much attention over the decades, and the x86 ISA, with its more transistors, is always going to give off more heat, and use more power, than any RISC design that uses less transistors, if both devices are running full on, then by the laws of physics the device running more transistors will produce more heat(with all those transistors in use), for devices built around the same fab process node. Intel will have problems competiting against the lowest power ARM IP based wearable devices, even with the process node lead they have, as x86 is not, and never was engineered for the utra low power, that has been the bread and butter of the Arm IP based SOCs that populate the current market, and have been around in the low power market for decades.

February 21, 2014 | 12:41 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Only the Intel version is officially Shaolin Master approved

February 21, 2014 | 12:51 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

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February 24, 2014 | 08:21 AM - Posted by Klimax (not verified)

"Obviously this is something Intel is award of as well and they are also aware of what temperature means for devices that users will have such direct contact with."