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R.I.P. Intel Compute Card and Samsung Artik

Mar 22, 2019 — by Eric Brown — 1695 views

Intel has stopped development on new Intel Compute Card modules. The news follows the revelation that Samsung has discontinued its Artik line of computer-on-modules.

Intel is pulling the plug on its Intel Compute Card product line following Samsung’s recent discontinuation of its Artik computer-on-modules. The early demise of these Linux-compatible module families hardly reflects on the COM (or SOM) market in general, which appears to be booming along with the SBC business.


Artik 710

Every single one of the thousands of new products we’ve covered since LinuxGizmos launched in 2013 will eventually hit End-of-Life or be pulled prematurely. Death is a fact of life, even for electronics. Typically, we don’t hear about the discontinuations. Products simply fade away. Sometimes, as in the case of Intel’s discontinuation of the Joule and Edison COMs — or its later removal from market of the Curie module and Arduino 101 SBC — the market exits show up in the news.

Intel has now pulled the plug on another product peripheral to its processor business: the Intel Compute Card. Intel confirmed the news to Tom’s Hardware after NexDock revealed that the future of the Intel Compute Card was “uncertain” and that it was halting development of its Compute Card based NexPad.



Intel Compute Card with Kaby Lake
(click image to enlarge)

In a statement to Tom’s Hardware, Intel noted that it was looking into other solutions for modular computing. However: “…we’ve made the decision that we will not develop new Compute Card products moving forward. We will continue to sell and support the current Compute Card products through 2019…”

The initial 7th Gen Kaby Lake series of Intel Compute Cards that launched in 2017 will therefore be its last. The 95 x 55 x 5mm computer-on-module form factor targeted products such as signage, kiosks, All-in-Ones, smart TVs, smart appliances, security cameras, and IoT gateways. The form factor was intended to simplify the design, ease of serviceability and user upgradeability of CE devices with installation, maintenance, and upgrades that were independent of partner certified devices.

Unlike most Intel-based COM Express modules, the Linux-ready Intel Compute Card could be mounted externally for easy swap-out. The Kaby Lake based models include 4GB DDR3, 64GB or 128GB storage, and Intel Wireless-AC 8265 (2×2 802.11ac & BT 4.2).

 
Samsung Artik bites the dust

In December of last year, Samsung sent a letter (PDF) to its customers announcing the discontinuation of its Artik line of compute modules. The news was reported by BusinessKorea a week later but did not get picked up by the mainstream tech media. It was only on Mar. 14 that CNXSoft discovered the notice on the Artik website stating that the site had been shutdown on Feb. 1.



Artik 530 module (left) and development kit
(click images to enlarge)

The Arm-based, Linux supported Artik 710, 710s, 530, 530s, 530s 1G, 520, 520s, 305s, 053, 053s, 055s, 030 and 020 modules will continue to be available until June 28. The latest shipment is scheduled for before Nov. 30, 2019. The related developers kits and the Artik Cloud service for Artik IoT aggregation are also being discontinued. The BusinessKorea story quoted an analyst statement that Artik had gone belly up due to “poor results.”

There did not seem to be much warning to customers about the demise of the Artik line. In late October, the EdgeX Foundry IoT middleware project launched an Ubuntu-driven development kit based on the high-end Artik 710 module. The Artik 710 Starter Kit is based on the octa-core, Cortex-A53 Artik 710.

The Artik line was first announced back in May 2015. Artik models included the dual-core, Cortex-A7 Artik 5 line, as well as several non-Linux MCU modules. During the three-year Artik era, Samsung discontinued several of the modules, including the Artik 1, Artik 10, and Artik 520.

One problem with the Artik modules was that they never built upon identifiable SoC models. Rather, each module was in itself a kind of extended SoC based on other Samsung SoC models. The products might also have been helped by a community-backed, open-spec development board for the modules.

Samsung never integrated the industrial-oriented Artik line with its SmartThings home automation platform or Tizen Linux-driven consumer electronics appliances. The company did, however, release a Cortex-R4-based Artik 053 COM with built-in WiFi that ran Tizen 4.0’s Tizen RT RTOS variant.
 

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One response to “R.I.P. Intel Compute Card and Samsung Artik”

  1. Jaime Aranguren says:

    Simply… This is not their business. Was there really someone so dumb to believe that?

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