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Intel Quark Rides Arduino
10/3/2013

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Intel said the first Quark is a 32-bit, Pentium-class single-threaded, single-core SoC.
Intel said the first Quark is a 32-bit, Pentium-class single-threaded, single-core SoC.

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rick merritt
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Quark chip teardown anyone?
rick merritt   10/3/2013 6:13:21 PM
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I believe the faithful attending the event in Rome got free Galileo boards.

Would one of you plesase send it in to a Tech Insights or Chipworks so they can pop the lid of that SoC and tell us more about what's inside?

Or at least put the board through its paces and send us a review.

Caleb Kraft
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Re: Quark chip teardown anyone?
Caleb Kraft   10/4/2013 11:18:37 AM
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I have to wonder how far the drive for more power will go in the land of DIY. At what point does the market dwindle down to a few, then transition over into R&D departments instead? 

Is that even a distinction that will exist in the near future?

 

krisi
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power dissipation?
krisi   10/4/2013 12:40:01 PM
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how is Quark comparing against Arm in terms of power dissipation?

GeniusEE
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When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail
GeniusEE   10/4/2013 2:30:39 PM
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WAY too much processor and silicon area for DIY.

Aeroengineer
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Re: When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail
Aeroengineer   10/4/2013 3:28:13 PM
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I would love to have something like this in a QFN package and some nice peripherals.  I have a signal analysis problem that it would be great if I could run a 1024 point FFT at .01ms intervals.  This would give me enough resolution for what I am trying to do as well as make it so that I can reduce the noise in the signal.

TonyTib
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Re: When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail
TonyTib   10/4/2013 4:03:58 PM
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You'll never get it in a QFN, because QFN's are limited in number of pins (QFP-208 is the biggest I've seen) and bandwidth.  The fastest QFN processors I know of are:

TI 320C6745 VLIW Floating Point DSP at 456MHz (theoretically 8 instructions per clock cycle, 32/64-bit FP)

ADI Blackfin fixed point DSP (some models are 400MHz QFPs)

Freescale Vybrid VF3 Cortex A5 at 266MHz with 1.5M SRAM

NXP LPC43xx at 204MHz

Aeroengineer
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Re: When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail
Aeroengineer   10/4/2013 7:43:35 PM
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1 saves
There is the A13 chip from Allwinner that is a 1GHz that comes in a 176 pin QFN.

TonyTib
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Re: When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail
TonyTib   10/4/2013 8:33:21 PM
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Yup, I forgot about the A13, which is sold in small quantities by Olimex.  I wouldn't be surpised if the packaging impacts the performance.  Also, it's very tablet oriented, not industrial, and I wonder how long it will be in production.

Another point about the Quark: availability and price from Mouser & Digikey will be very important if Intel wants to be serious about embedded again.

Sheetal.Pandey
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Re: When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail
Sheetal.Pandey   10/6/2013 2:46:25 PM
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It is good Intel couldnot or didnit enter smartphone business. They are experts in making processors and it would be good if tghey keep that monopoly going. Just joining the smartphone wagon would not earn any good.

sanjaac
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Re: When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail
sanjaac   11/6/2013 11:22:53 AM
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Some more, from Renesas (just listing the ones over 200 MHz) in QFP packages (not inclusing any BGAs or similar):

In the MPU Class:
  • RZ/A1H ARM Cortex-A9 MPU @ 400 MHz - 10 M RAM QFP256
  • RZ/A1H ARM Cortex-A9 MPU @ 400 MHz - 5 M RAM QFP256
  • RZ/A1L ARM Cortex-A9 MPU @ 400 MHz - 3 M RAM QFP208 & QFP176
  • SH7730 SH-4A SuperScalar RISC MPU @ 266 MHz - QFP208
  • SH7751R SH-4 SuperScalar RISC MPU @ 240 MHz - QFP240
  • SH7750R SH-4 SuperScalar RISC MPU @ 240 MHz - QFP240
  • SH7750S SH-4 SuperScalar RISC MPU @ 200 MHz - QFP208
  • SH7729R SH-3 DSP SuperScalar RISC MPU @ 200 MHz - QFP208
  • SH7709S SH-3 SuperScalar RISC MPU @ 200 MHz - QFP208

In the MCU Class:
  • SH7269 SH-2A FPU SuperScalar RISC MCU @ 266 MHz - 2.5 M RAM QFP256
  • SH7268 SH-2A FPU SuperScalar RISC MCU @ 266 MHz - 2.5 M RAM QFP208
  • SH726A SH-2A FPU SuperScalar RISC MCU @ 216 MHz - 1.3 M RAM QFP120
  • SH726B SH-2A FPU SuperScalar RISC MCU @ 216 MHz - 1.3 M RAM QFP144
  • SH7263 SH-2A FPU SuperScalar RISC MCU @ 200 MHz - QFP240
  • SH7203 SH-2A FPU SuperScalar RISC MCU @ 200 MHz - QFP240
  • SH7206 SH-2A SuperScalar RISC MCU @ 200 MHz - QFP176
  • SH7216 SH-2A FPU SuperScalar RISC MCU @ 200 MHz - 1 M Flash QF176

 Please enjoy!

Wilco1
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Re: When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail
Wilco1   10/6/2013 4:16:03 PM
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Forget FFTs, Quark won't ever run any DSP code. Multiply takes 6 cycles vs 1 cycle for a MAC on Cortex-M3/M4. Floating point is even slower: fadd is 10 cycles, fmul is 11 - compare that with 1 cycle for fadd and fmul on Cortex-M4...

przem
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Finally, Intel SoC
przem   10/4/2013 3:38:03 PM
I have been saying that for several years that in order to get into mobile devices Intel has to demonstrate integration. They certainly know both the CPU and chipset/peripheral space, but they  were stuck with the separate product lines. They need to compete with ARM which can offer a complete system like Beaglebone Black with CPU, chipset, rich peripherals/comms/I/O, and RAM + flash memories for $45---which you can just turn on, put on the network and log into a complete in-system  development environment, either via SSH or a web browser.

The time of 8-bit, 4kB program memory systems is over---even for DUI. Even in the super-low-power, 32-bit ARM Cortex M chips are competitive with MSP430s, PICs and AVRs.

 

TonyTib
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Re: Finally, Intel SoC
TonyTib   10/4/2013 4:06:17 PM
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Your point about peripherals is spot on.  Many people (and companies like Microchip) feel that peripherals are more important than the core.  TI's AM335x MPUs have very interesting digital peripherals (PWM, QEP, co-processor, etc).

rick merritt
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Package
rick merritt   10/6/2013 3:27:18 PM
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Can anyone tell the package from the Intel-provided picture--assuming its not a dummy chip?

Wilco1
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Re: Package
Wilco1   10/6/2013 3:41:22 PM
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15x15mm 393 ball BGA - not exactly a MCU...

 

See https://communities.intel.com/servlet/...102.../329676_QuarkDatasheet.pdf

Btw. it is actually a 486!!! - not a match for a modern MCU.

rick merritt
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Re: Package
rick merritt   10/7/2013 1:50:42 AM
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@Wilco1: Can you check that datasheet URL. It's not working for me.

Also Intel clearly stated Quark is a Pentium class chip.

Wilco1
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Re: Package
Wilco1   10/7/2013 5:24:41 AM
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Sorry, these should work better:

 

https://communities.intel.com/servlet/JiveServlet/previewBody/21826-102-2-25118/Intel%20Quark%20Core_DevMan_001.pdf

https://communities.intel.com/servlet/JiveServlet/previewBody/21828-102-2-25120/329676_QuarkDatasheet.pdf


https://communities.intel.com/servlet/JiveServlet/previewBody/21825-102-2-25117/Intel%20Quark%20Core%20HWRefMan_001.pdf

 

Yes, there are claims of a "Pentium" instruction set but it is literally a 486 with a 5-stage single-issue pipeline and 16KB shared I&D cache (compare the timings with an old 486 manual or look at page 20 in the last link). Remember the current Atom is already Pentium class, so to get x86 any smaller you have got to get down to a 486! The die is about 30mm^2 based on the photo in this article. TDP is 1.9-2.2W for the SoC.

alex_m1
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Re: Package
alex_m1   10/7/2013 8:54:35 AM
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With the estimate of 30mm2 by wilco of this chip, i wonder what sizes(and processes) are similar competing chips like the TI sitara, Freescale Vybrid and atmel SAMA5D3 ?

Wilco1
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Re: Package
Wilco1   10/7/2013 4:45:43 PM
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SAMA5D3 is 65nm and does 536MHz at less than 200mW for the whole SoC. Sitara is a 1GHz Cortex-A8 at 65nm as well and Vybrid uses a 40nm process. However a 486 is not in the same league as these Cortex-A5/A8 based SoCs, so Quark would need to sell significantly below the $7 Atmel asks for SAMA5D3.

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