Intel's 'open source' Galileo computer is now on sale

Intel’s Galileo, an 'open source' computer hardware solution for the do-it-yourself (DIY) crowd, is scheduled to ship at the end of this month.  It is about the size of a credit card and uses Intel’s extremely low-power Quark processor. It is priced at around $65 per unit.

Functional Capabilities

Intel has decided to tap into the 'maker' community to help figure out how to best use its new line of Quark chips. It anticipates that Quark technology will allow Intel architecture to be incorporated into a wide range of emerging technologies and solutions for the future, e.g. mobile devices, wearable system, and the 'Internet of Things'.

Intel Corporation CEO Brian Krzanich also announced a collaboration agreement with Arduino at last month's Maker Faire in Rome, Italy. Intel plans to work closely with Arduino and the open source hardware (OSHW) community to develop many of these future solutions.

Using Arduino development kits and its software application programming interface make it easier for artists, designers and other do-it-yourself (DIY) enthusiasts  to create new and innovative interactive objects or products.

The Intel Galileo microprocessor boards will serve as a great tool for quickly prototyping projects from automating numerous home appliances, building robotic devices, wearable systems, health sensors, micro-PCs, and many other small electronic devices. 

Technical Features

Galileo is a microcontroller board based on Intel's Quark SoC X1000 Application Processor, a 32-bit Intel Pentium-class system on a chip. The 32-bit chip runs at a clock speed of 400MHz and has 512KB of RAM. Galileo and the Quark SoC X1000 were both designed at the Intel campus in Leixlip, Ireland. 

The Galileo microcontroller board is 'open source', meaning that Intel will release its schematics and design for others to replicate and manufacture. Also, Galileo runs a lightweight version of the open source Linux operating system.  Go to

Galileo and the Education Community

Intel recently announced it will be giving away 50,000 Galileo boards to students at over 1,000 universities over the next 18 months. Also, Intel is currently working with 17 universities across six continents to develop curriculum-based on the new Intel Galileo board.  See Intel Press Release.

The goal of the education effort is to put the power of Intel technology into the hands of as many educators and students as possible. The company expects to name additional universities in the coming months.

Other 'Open Source' Hardware Systems

Finally, Intel's Galileo board has a number of major competitors such as the highly popular Raspberry Pi open source PC, which sells for around $25 per unit. BeagleBoard is another device in this competitive market space. It sells for about $45 per unit. Then there is the Arduino Board, PandaBoard, and a growing number of other alternatives.

Check out some of the retail sites selling these type of devices to the 'maker' community, e.g. Adafruit Industries, Maker Shed.