At a presentation at the CES in Las Vegas this week, Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich, showcased their new wearable Curie module. This comes a year after their Edison development system for wearable devices was given its first airing at CES 2014. Intel does not expect the Curie to be available until the second half of 2015 so technical details of the system are a little sketchy. What we can say is that this preliminary version of the Curie is a whole lot smaller than the present day Edison (which was originally intended to be the size of an SD card but grew a few millimetres by the time it reached production).
At less than 20 mm in diameter the Curie could easily be integrated into wearable items such as rings, ear rings, bracelets, bangles or even coat buttons. Intel have packed a low-power 32-bit Quark SE SoC together with 384 kB of Flash and 80 kB of SRAM memory and a low-power integrated DSP sensor hub with proprietary pattern matching accelerator. Also included is a 6-axis sensor which combines an accelerometer and a gyroscope. There are no details of any general purpose I/O capabilities and communication to the Curie will be via a Bluetooth low-energy interface. Initial details state that its low energy requirements will allow it to be powered for ‘extended periods’ from a coin-sized battery. Battery charging PMIC capabilities are also built into the device.
To speed development of products based on the Intel Curie module, Intel is providing a complete software solution that includes a small and efficient real-time operating system (RTOS) together with reference wearable applications called Intel® IQ Software kits. The Intel® IQ Software kits include the embedded software that runs on this module together with companion smartphone applications and associated cloud capabilities.