Definition

Intel Quark

Contributor(s): Matthew Haughn

Intel Quark is an embedded system-on-a-chip (SoC) processor design intended for smaller mobile devices like wearable computers.

As with their counterparts in elementary particles, Quark is smaller than  Atom. The Quark processor is said to be a fifth of the size of Atom and draw a tenth of the power.

Quark’s core is a 32-bit x86 design based on the original Pentium chip. Like the older Pentium, it lacks some of the enhanced instruction sets, like MMX and SSE.

Quark is not a replacement for Atom, as it is not as powerful a processor. It is intended for competition with ARM’s Cortex M RISK-based processors, which are already found in wearable computing like Google Glass and Recon Jet and many mobile phones.

Specifications for the first version, Quark SoC x1000:

  • Built in security software support through McAfee.
  • 400mhz speed.
  • DDR3 support.
  • PCI Express (PCIe).
  • Ethernet.
  • Support for USB, UART, SPI, I2C and JTAG connections.
  • 32 nanometer photolithographic fabrication process.

Intel unveils Quark:

 

This was last updated in October 2013

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It's amazing to see how far technology has come.. We have wearable devices that have the power of room sized computer systems of the early years. My first job was on an old IBM with punched card and magnetic tape input. We had 6 tape drives a card reader and a card punch for data output plus the computer in one room that was about 20 x 40 feet in size. 
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