Spring cleaning or killing spree, you decide. Intel has been rather aggressively “retiring” some of its less profitable endeavors, most of them revolving around the Internet of Things and wearable devices. Although it hasn’t formally acknowledge letting go of its wearables division, Intel did put its low-power Curie chip to pasture. Naturally, that has meant that the Arduino 101 is also following suit, bringing a formal end to Intel’s dreams on small form factor computers and devices.
There are countless development boards available running on Intel chips, but most of them use the very same chips in tablets and low-power laptops. Which practically means Atom or, at most, Core m processors. Those, however, cannot really outdo boards like the Raspberry Pi or controllers like the Arduino, both of which run on smaller, and more power efficient ARM processors.
The Curie was supposed to be Intel’s horse in that race. Intended for wearables just as the Edison was intended for IoT, the button-sized module, itself based on Intel’s Quark SoC, was placed in a development board made by Arduino in order to woo the maker community that has flocked to its competitors. A community that Intel is now abandoning by the wayside.
It won’t be abrupt though. Intel will continue to accept orders for the Arduino 101 development board from September 17 to December 17 this year. That said, it will no longer release any updates to its Curie Open Developer Kit. Its forum and resources will continue to live online until June 15, 2020. After then, only open source files and resources will be made available on GitHub.
The Arduino IDE will continue to support the 101 board and other Curie-based boards, or at least Intel says so. When Arduino pulls that out might be a different matter. That said, with Intel abandoning the platform, it might not make sense for developers to spend that much time keeping it on life support.