SAN JOSE, Calif. ó Following in the footsteps of other tech giants such as Cisco Systems, Intel created a new Internet of Things group and named Doug Davis, a long time veteran of Intel embedded groups, as its general manger. Davis reports to the executive office, which includes Intel's new CEO Brian Krzanich.
The Intel Internet of Things Solutions Group includes the Wind River business unit which formerly was part of Intel's datacenter division. Its main products will be Atom and Quark SoCs which Intel will enhance with Wind River software and code from other groups such as its McAfee security unit.
The IoT group will focus on most embedded markets including industrial automation, retail, aerospace, and automotive. Intel products for storage and communications systems will remain part of the company's datacenter group.
Intel aims to extend its reach into lower-cost and lower-power 32-bit embedded apps with its Pentium-class Quark SoCs, which will sample before the end of the year and hit production before April. "Customers see value in the scalability of the Intel architecture for their code," said Davis in an interview with EE Times.
Davis declined to say whether Intel will evolve Quark into lower end markets where ARM and other microcontroller architectures currently reside. Quark will extend beyond gateways to end nodes for industrial automation and other sectors, Davis said.
The new group will create more complete software stacks and platforms for its Atom and Quark SoCs using Wind River, McAfee, and other assets, he added.
By contrast, for nearly five years rival Marvell has been delivering for free with its ARM-based chips IoT software including an operating system and higher-level code developed in-house, said Manas Saksena, a senior director of technology at Marvell, speaking at an IEEE event on IoT on Wednesday.
For his part, Davis started his career at Intel as a product engineer in the military division and rose to become general manager for the Embedded Microcomputer Division. After a brief foray into communications groups he became in 2005 the general manager of Intel's Embedded and Communications Group.
Davis left embedded to spearhead a netbook and tablet division that lasted just a little longer than a year before it was merged with Intel's smartphone group into a broader mobile division. For the past year, he served as general manager of Intel's Arizona wafer factory operations, which was "a fantastic learning experience," he said.