As expected, Intel’s Atom branding for low-power processors isn’t dead. The company has just stopped using the Atom name on its chips for laptop, desktop and tablet PCs… and is instead launching new Atom chips designed for Internet of Things (IoT) products.

At the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Intel unveiled a new system-on-a-module aimed at IoT developers. It’s called the Joule, and it’s powered by a new Intel Atom chip.


The Joule platform can support input from Intel RealSense cameras and other sensors, allowing devices to detect and react to the world around them. It also features 802.11ac WiFi support and the ability to capture 4K video.

The whole module measures about 1.8″ x 0.9″, making it small enough to pinch between your finger and thumb.


Some early applications include wearable smart glasses from PivotHead, and robots from Canonical, Microsoft, and vStone.

Intel is making Joule systems available to developers attending IDF, and it’ll be available for purchase online soon. It should start shipping in September.

There will be two Joule platforms available at launch”

Joule 550x

  • 1.5 GHz Intel Atom T5500 quad-core, 64-bit processor
  • 8GB eMMC storage

Joule 570x

  • 1.7 GHz Intel Atom T5700 quad-core, 64-bit processor
  • 16GB eMMC storage

Both models supports Bluetooth 4.1, USB 3.0, and feature MPI, CSI, DSI, GPIO, I2C, and UART interfacs. And both are designed to run Linux-based software designed for IoT and smart device applications.

There’s also an Intel Joule developer kit that includes an expansion board which basically turns the tiny module into a full-fledged, developer-friendly desktop computer. Newegg has a product page for the Joule 570x developer kit which includes the compute module and the expansion board for $370.

The expansion board features USB 3.0 type-A and type-C ports, a micro HDMI port, microSD card slot, dual 30-pin connectors, dual WiFi antennas.


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