RS Components has started shipping the new Intel Joule platform, which includes compute modules and kits for developers, inventors and entrepreneurs working on innovative applications enabled by the Internet of Things (IoT).

The multipurpose Intel Joule platform is ideal for a wide variety of potential applications in computer vision, robotics, drones, industrial IoT, virtual reality, micro-servers and other uses that require high-end edge computing such as industrial safety glasses with augmented reality, social robots, and application-specific custom carrier boards, according to the company.

The Intel Joule platform is based around a high-end compute system-on-module (SOM) featuring Intel HD graphics capable of 4K video capture and display and large memory in a tiny, low-power package. The platform offers a vast software and hardware ecosystem, which provides developers with a choice of operating system and off-the-shelf libraries and sensors. This allows developers to rapidly prototype and start manufacturing quicker and at a lower cost. Based on an Intel Atom processor, the Intel Joule module provides low-cost scalability from initial concept design to high-volume production.

The Intel Joule platform is available in two main compute module configurations and two associated developer kits. The Intel Joule 550x compute module features a 64-bit 1.5GHz quad-core Intel Atom processor T5500, plus 3GB LPDDR4 RAM and 8GB eMMC memory. The higher-performance Intel Joule 570x compute module features a 64-bit 1.7GHz quad-core Intel Atom processor T5700 with Intel Burst Technology, allowing operation at 2.4GHz, plus 4GB LPDDR4 RAM and 16GB eMMC memory. The developer kits include an expansion board, micro-SD card, two Wi-Fi antennas and heatsink and fastener, in addition to the Intel Joule 550x or 570x compute module.

Both compute modules offer a wide variety of high-speed physical interfaces including USB 3.0, multiple GPIO, I2C and UART interfaces. They also offer Wi-Fi (dual-band MIMO) and Bluetooth 4.1 for extended range and bandwidth. The platform includes support for Intel RealSense depth-sensing camera technology, enabling developers to build devices suited to systems requiring advanced computer vision.

The software ecosystem supporting the Intel Joule module runs the open-source Reference Linux OS, which has been designed specifically with security features required by IoT applications. Other options include Ubuntu/Ubuntu Core (Snappy) or Microsoft Windows 10 IoT Core with further off-the-shelf libraries and peripherals available to help accelerate development.