Intel Quark
Intel QuarkReuters

Targeting makers while also wanting to plant itself firmly in the internet of things (IoT) space, Intel has launched what is probably its cheapest microcontroller — the Quark D2000. Priced at $15, the entry-level developer board is powered by a 32MHz processor and 8KB SRAM.

According to Intel, the microcontroller can be used in a variety of environments, ranging from retail, where it can control displays monitors, to smart buildings, where, say, with the help of an ambient light sensor, it could automatically open and close the blinds. Users can also hook up other low-power components and tinker with its applications.

"These boards typically provide a cheap way to prototype electronics or to make domestic devices," said Kaustubh Nande, Country Marketing Head, ANSYS India, which helps develop IoT devices. "With a $15 price point, the board provides a very low cost way to model electronics and other innovative gadgets. With lower price points you tend to reduce entry barriers significantly to drive innovation on gadget ideas and prototypes," he adds.

The Quark D2000 can be programmed via Intel's System Studio for Microcontrollers and according to Intel is interoperable with other Intel-based systems as well.

The D2000 has a six-axis accelerometer, a magnetometer with a temperature sensor, and one USB 2.0 port and can be powered either via a coin cell battery or a 5-volt power input.

The Quark D2000 is the latest microcontroller to join the Quark-powered line-up that Intel offers. Apart from the D2000, Intel's Quark chip also powers the D1000 microcontroller and the Quark SE microcontroller.

The microcontrollers can be purchased from Intel's partners.