Intel enters in the LED blinking business!


Arduino with its over 1 million sold development boards is acting as magneto for marketing managers in all semi companies.

We already review the incredible engineering done by NXP on this subject to make Adruino compatible low cost 8-bit processor without ADC and enough GPIOs, and while we though nobody can come up with something so incredible non-sense.

Now it seems Intel is on the way to eclipse them, they put Arduino connectors on their Galileo processor

Galileo datasheet is very skinny but seems this is 400Mhz Pentium 32bit processor with 256MB of RAM.

Looking at the tiny datasheet there is block diagram:


seems familiar? yes, same crap like in NXP design, processor with no GPIO, no ADC, etc which connects to external ICs to make something which is available in simple 8-bit AVR processor 🙂

At least one thing Intel do it better than NXP here – they paid to Arduino team to build them Arduino Like IDE and some basic library

31 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. koliqi
    Oct 03, 2013 @ 18:39:27

    Crap design? I dont think so. If they develop compatibile Arduino IDE that would make them (after Maple) 3th Arduino generation. Intel announced a large scale, education donation of 50,000 boards to 1,000 universities around the world over the next 18months.
    Imagine imx23-arduino or A20-SOM with compatibile Arduino IDE! Nobady will blame you if add external ADC on such Arduino compatibile board.


  2. balaji
    Oct 03, 2013 @ 19:33:19

    I think how they make arduino compatible may be crap. But, I think there is no other way, as this may be a processor(with more communication peripherals, less common GPIO/ADC) compared to GP micro controllers. Arduino IDE is an excellent take. With this IDE, if this is seen as bare micro-processor, we will get the full processing power(for common electronic control) compared to Linux compatible boards. Then this is a major step by Intel.


  3. picmaster
    Oct 04, 2013 @ 00:03:47

    Until Intel publishes the full chip documentation, which is NOT under NDA, then the board will be considered officially “not crap”.


  4. Fernando
    Oct 04, 2013 @ 03:15:07

    I like this board. I’ll buy one, if it’s not going to cost an arm and a leg.

    What is nice about Arduino? Easy development, documentation, libraries, know-how, tutorials.

    What is not-so-nice about Arduino? Lack of processing power, but expecially lack of RAM (can’t to much with 1.5 KB once you load a couple of libraries).

    Arduino DUE is not really OK because not fully compatible with Arduino UNO shields (3.3V instead of 5V).

    This board has it all:
    compatible with Arduino sketches and libraries (because the GCC toolchain takes care of that; Arduino “libraries” are always in ANSI C source code so they always get recompiled when you upload a sketch)
    compatible with Arduino IDE
    compatible with Arduino shields, both 3.3V and 5V (has a switch for that)
    much more powerful (like a RaspPI, give or take)
    Now if only it would be cheap and, even more important, if only it would use just 1.5-2W under load…


    • Emil E. Paper
      Oct 04, 2013 @ 13:50:25

      If Arduino DUE is not completely compatible, maybe it is worth waiting for TRE (availability announced for spring next year):


      • Morgaine
        Oct 04, 2013 @ 22:25:38

        If you look carefully at the full resolution (4096×4096) image of the Arduino TRE at , it’s clear that the TRE uses not just any old AM335x as declared in the textual descriptions but specifically the XAM3359AZCZ100. This is the exact same device used in the BeagleBone Black, which means that it also contains the same dual 200MHz PRU realtime RISC processors within the SoC.

        So, the Arduino TRE actually contains four processors, the Atmel MEGA32U4 for Arduino compatibility, two fast RISC processors for higher-level realtime work, and the Cortex-A8 application processor for ordinary Linux operations. That’s quite a line-up.

  5. Fernando
    Oct 04, 2013 @ 15:52:47

    A FrankenArduino! No thanks. 🙂


  6. giovanni.v
    Oct 04, 2013 @ 16:28:12

    Crap? May be the consumer/hobby grade hardware, especially the ridicolous 2.5 uart jack but apart from that I like this board.


    • giovanni.v
      Oct 04, 2013 @ 16:31:05

      Ah… finally no GPU! I believe a lot of people can live without it.


      • OLIMEX Ltd
        Oct 04, 2013 @ 16:48:33

        also no MMU 😉 so bye bye Linux hello ucLinux

      • Morgaine
        Oct 04, 2013 @ 20:54:45

        Responding to OLIMEX Ltd:

        I initially thought that the Quark lacked an MMU as well, for the pretty solid reason that the 920-page Quark SoC Datasheet didn’t mention an MMU nor MMU functionality even once, not even as a single bullet point.

        But it turns out that the slightly unhelpful Intel technical authors have factored that information out completely (with zero overlap) into two other documents: – Hardware Reference – Developer’s Manual

        Those two docs give full details of a complete MMU implementation, and there’s a simple summary paragraph in the first one:

        On-Chip Memory Management Unit — Address management and memory
        space protection mechanisms maintain the integrity of memory in a multi-
        tasking and virtual memory environment. The memory management unit
        supports both segmentation and paging.

        So, Intel didn’t totally lose their minds and encourage uClinux use again. 🙂

        Phew! (Much relieved.)

  7. koliqi
    Oct 05, 2013 @ 00:28:32

    FAQ from Galileo’s forum has answer about Linux on Galileo:

    Q: Can I run Linux on Intel® Galileo?

    Yes. Intel® Galileo runs Linux out of the box. It comes in 2 flavors, the default is a small Linux. If you add an SD card to your kit, then you can add a more fully-featured Linux. Refer to the Intel® Galileo Getting Started Guide and Intel® Quark SoC X1000 IoT Development Kit Software GSG.

    Q: Can I use Intel® Galileo without any Arduino* software?

    Yes. Intel® Galileo runs Linux, everything you need to develop Linux applications for Intel® Galileo is available through Intel and the open-source community. You can even run Arduino* sketches and Linux applications concurrently if you wish.


  8. Tom
    Oct 05, 2013 @ 10:37:03

    Seriously, last time you went on to the point that a 8051 device would be better and cheaper than a Cortex M0, now you want us to believe that an 8bit AVR is better than a 32bit x86 that can run Linux out of the box.

    Stop before you make yourself even more ridiculous.


  9. kratos
    Oct 05, 2013 @ 23:05:04

    I think Olimex went easy on intel…this thing is worse than ‘crap’, its pure crap ! BGA chip on a hobby board with no real GPIO/Adc(via i2c), not to mention the cost of the chip will be too damn high and the documentation will probably be under tight NDA. It’s just a brick…i would rather use Pi for my projects


  10. phuong
    Oct 06, 2013 @ 07:19:33

    I don’t know why must be arduino compatible design ? Although there are many good hardware interface standards such as PC104, SODIMM for embedded devices ?


  11. David
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 11:12:50

    Nice for certain applications. x86 – so no cross compile nightmares. Small systems like this is where Intel really dropped the ball and ARM Holdings picked it up with their IP. The AMD Geode series is another example – x86 embedded SoC originally developed by Intel then sold to AMD. Where this board falls flat on its face is the very poor GPIO – via i2c expansion only. So it’s dirt slow. But then again, direct I/O on an ARM chip is slow too primarily due to internal busses (e.g. AMBA) and lack of DMA documentation and support. The great Intel documentation and support compared to the China ARM churners is welcome though.


  12. anonymous
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 13:18:19

    Since this is the official Olimex blog I do not know what to make of the fact it is expressing such a negative stance about other peoples work, ideas and implementations…

    The fact is that the mentioned board brings something new and is a step in a good direction regarding the industry (which olimex is a part of) and dissing something like that… Well… To put it nicely, seems unproffesional… Negative attitude towards new things is a risky business model for a company like Olimex.

    Information like this make me, to say the least, think twice about the quality of the content I am reading… And the doubt of quality extends to clicking the “Products” button.


    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Oct 07, 2013 @ 13:39:13

      is this why you are using anonymous ID 😉
      the blog express our opinion, sometimes it may be not nice to hear from fans of this or that brand, but please do not take it too hard, everybody makes mistakes, and negative feedback could be constructive too
      do not get upset when somebody shout “the king is naked”


  13. anonymous
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 14:29:39

    I am using an anonymous ID because I see no need for its alternative. Nor do I see how a different ID tag would change anything I have written.

    Interesting thought… Saying that:
    -describing something as crap is just giving constructive negative feedback -explaining your repeated negative attitude is just everybody making mistakes

    Could one compare that with the king saying “I have clothes…”? 🙂

    And since I sense a misunderstanding starting… I am a fan of the work your engineers are doing, the direction your company is taking and will most likely be buying your products. My personal opinion is you guys are doing a great job and wish a bright future for your contributions. And from that wish I am writing this. I felt such attitude is not working in favour of your work…


    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Oct 07, 2013 @ 14:40:40

      “Could one compare that with the king saying “I have clothes…”? :)”

      definitely not my point here, It’s just funny to see serious company like Intel to enter totally hobby market, this is pure nonsense but I guess some Marketing guy decided to make buzz out of this, what everyone wants is Arduino *community* and this make them look ridiculous sometimes, but to be honest this is not just Intel, you can see NXP had put efforts in same direction, and recently Microchip made board in which announcement they used both “Raspberry pi” and “Arduino” 🙂
      as I wrote above I would be much more respected to see Intel to come up with LOW POWER solution which to compete with ARM in phone and tablet solutions – this is something which would be in their league instead to make board solution which to emulate what 8-bit microcontroller could do alone
      Intel would never make $5 SoC like the Chinese vendors do, so why they push this direction for other reason than some buzz?
      same is for TI with their recently TRE announced board, jusy few months ago they shut down their OMAP division which worked in the low cost commercial solutions and kept just the industrial and automotive apps, now they announce board which is for hobby, why? something which I can’t understand
      their board have Cortex-A8 + two PRU 200Mhz processors for real time operation they claim and on top of this monster they add AVR 8-bit microcontroller which is less capable than their PRUs, does this make sense? No – explanation -> Arduino buzz word would not be used if this AVR was not placed on the board 🙂


  14. Morgaine
    Oct 09, 2013 @ 00:02:55

    One possible scenario is that companies who make evaluation boards are asking themselves, “What will give us more press exposure, longer period of buzz, higher sales, a greater perception of openness, and good PR in the community: 1) a traditional evaluation board with our own design for expansion headers, or 2) a more general board bearing a de facto “enthusiast’s standard” header design such as Arduino’s?”

    It wouldn’t be too surprising if many engineers conclude that the second option provides more payback to the company, and is still useful for the original purpose of simple device evaluation at the same time. The fact that it doesn’t make a huge amount of sense as an end product and that the header compatibility is only partial may not matter much if the goals are achieved. 🙂

    And remember one key point about proprietary expansion headers — they create company lock-in, and that is generally bad for end users.


  15. funlw65funlw65
    Oct 10, 2013 @ 17:07:24

    Intel’s board is horrible. You can anytime wipe out a small capacitor or something from the board just missing the connectors when you try to insert a shield, or you can drop the board and lose some components.

    As for me, Arduino TRE looks as a good alternative to Olinuxino. In my opinion, is easier to use the included Arduino board as an ISP programmer for AVRs than using Linux GPIO (avrdude 6.x) for the same task. It can be a nice Linux machine for AVR development but not only – too bad it have only 512Mb of RAM. I encourage Olimex to do a similar board. Hopefully, the price will be accessible.


    • OLIMEX Ltd
      Oct 10, 2013 @ 17:11:20

      why one should pay for BeagleBone+Arduino placed on the same PCB instead to have them separately and in much more compact size?
      not all Linux users are interested in Arduino
      BeagleBone have x2 PRU co-processors for real-time work running at 200Mhz and much more capable than AVR 8-bit processor if you need to access outside world in real time, form me TRE is same nonsense as Galileo, both solutions want to ride Arduino buzz word and nothing else 🙂


  16. funlw65
    Oct 10, 2013 @ 17:34:10

    “Arduino buzz word and nothing else”
    I agree with that. But if it proves to be a useful tool, why not?

    “not all Linux users are interested in Arduino” – also true, but here we are talking about Arduino(AVR) world as a target and that means all users 😉


  17. Fernando
    Oct 11, 2013 @ 02:28:54

    Olimex, the only shortcomings of Arduino (Uno) are

    – too much power drain
    – too little RAM

    The Arduino 2560 Mega is marginally more useful, thanks to the 8 KB RAM (vs. 2KB, of which only 1.5 available due to the 0.5 KB taken up by the loader), but still has too much power drain for any battery-operated project.

    Why don’t you produce some sort of a Olimexino Mega?
    Your standard Olimexino has lower power drain than Arduino, but only 2 KB RAM as it’s based on AVR 328 (like Arduino Uno).


  18. Phillip Muniz
    Oct 18, 2013 @ 23:20:43

    I work for Mouser Electronics and we now have the Intel Galileo available for pre-order on our website. We’ll be getting the first shipments of stock in mid-November.



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