Two Irish universities among first globally to get Intel Galileo boards

3 Oct 2013

Driven by the fact that the core chip technology on Intel’s new Galileo dev board aimed at driving wearable computing and the ‘internet of things’ revolution has been ‘designed in Ireland’, Trinity College Dublin and University College Cork (UCC) will be among some of the world’s top universities who will be first receive the devices for free.

Intel plans to donate 50,000 Intel Galileo boards to 1,000 universities worldwide in the next 18 months and two Irish universities are on a priority list to receive the device first.

Both Trinity College Dublin and UCC have highly regarded computer science departments, whose graduates have gone on to enjoy stellar careers at Intel.

Universities that will receive the boards first include the University of Melbourne, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Sapienza University of Rome, Tsinghua University in Beijing, and Georgia Institute of Technology.

The devices, which were launched at the European edition of the prestigious Maker Faire in Rome, use Arduino software and are designed to be open and allow makers, creators and inventors to apply computing to any application, be it clothing, transport, communications, robotics – anything the mind can conceive.

The dev board runs on an open-source Linux operating system with Arduino libraries.

The Intel Quark SoC X1000 chip that drives the board – which according to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich is intended to feature in potentially billions of ‘internet of things’ applications – was designed in Ireland by a 70-strong team as part of an IDA Ireland-backed project. The words ‘Designed in Ireland’ are emblazoned on the boards.

The Quark SoC X1000 is a 32-bit, single core, single-thread, Pentium instruction set architecture (ISA)-compatible CPU, operating at speeds up to 400MHz.

“Through our ongoing efforts in education, we know that hands-on learning inspires interest in science, technology, engineering and math,” said Krzanich. “I’ve been a ‘maker’ for many years and am passionate about the exciting possibilities of technology and what can be created with it. We look forward to a productive collaboration with Arduino and to providing this community with some incredible Intel products that will help push the boundaries of our imaginations.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years