Intel’s working hard to establish a chiphold in the Internet of Things, as it emphasized in an “IoT Insights” event on Tuesday. But it’s not going to go it alone.
Just as Intel’s Xeon chips are built upon an ecosystem of partnerships, standards, and specifications, the company’s forging similar kinds of agreements in IoT—a space dominated by embedded processors that already have a head start on Intel’s Quark and Edison chips.
Intel would seem to be operating at a disadvantage. ARM dominates the smartphone business, which is defined by small but powerful processors, while Intel’s Atom chips have struggled to gain traction. In wearables, the challenge is tougher: Processors are smaller and consume even less power.
Not surprisingly, then, the IoT markets Intel chose to highlight put less of a priority on low power and more on processing data, an area where Intel excels. Intel used the event to launch a new IoT gateway, a device that will take in data from embedded sensors and devices and feed data to Intel’s data center chips and services.
John Gilbert, the chief operating officer of Rudin Management, which operates a network of data centers and other buildings across New York City, described how data centers could actually allocate less energy to cooling as employees left for lunch. Employees generate 100 watts in heat per person, and Rudin saved a dollar per square foot per year in that savings alone—one million dollars per year. That savings opportunity wouldn’t have been detected, let alone realized, without an investment in sensors and analytics, he said.
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