Intel has confirmed plans to aggressively target the burgeoning Internet of Things (IoT) market, founding a new solutions group led by Doug Davis with direct input from new chief executive Brian Krzanich.
Intel has pledged to fight for the burgeoning Internet of Things market, following up its 2012 investments with the formation of a formal IoT business unit.
The Internet of Things, first proposed by Kevin Ashton at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1999, is a move to imbue everyday objects with communication capabilities in an effort to increase their 'intelligence.' Projects range from internet-connected printers and alarm clocks to mesh networks of independent sensors to monitor air quality, flood risk or weather. Market research firm ABI has claimed that the market will grow to around 30 billion connected devices - nearly four per human being alive on the planet - by 2020.
That's a big market, and one that Intel has traditionally overlooked. IoT devices are typically compact and extremely low-power; in the case of sensor networks, these are usually powered by batteries charged by compact solar panels - a usage to which Intel's high-performance but power-hungry chips are ill-suited. Recently, however, the company has promised a new family of low-power parts dubbed Quark
which are designed as competitors to the ARM microprocessors and various microcontrollers currently used in IoT applications.
Intel isn't content to launch a development board
and let the market discover it for itself, however: the company has confirmed that it is to found a division dedicated expressly to the IoT market. Led by Doug Davis, who will report directly to chief executive Brian Krzanich, the new business unit is formed of a portion of the company's chip-making arm responsible for Quark with its Wind River software subsidiary.
While Intel hasn't formally announced where its IoT arm will be focusing, Krzanich has already teased Quark-powered devices which include trackable smart bracelets and biomedical devices which can be swallowed in order to track the health of an individual or carry out specific diagnostics.
This is Intel's latest, and biggest, move into the IoT market following the founding of the Intel Labs Europe UK Research and Development Network back in May 2012
, which itself followed a partnership with Beijing Municipal Government and the Institute of Automation of Chinese Academy of Sciences to create China Intel Internet of Things Joint Labs in April that year