January last year, while I was playing with Edison, I titled one of my post “Waiting for Curie”. Well, today, I bought the Arduino 101 board equipped with the Curie (you can find it under the Genuino 101 name outside the US). It is true that I was not actively seeking a board implementing the chip, so it is not coming as a surprise that I got one only today, instead of in August of last year when it has been announced. Curie is a low-power module designed for always-on applications.
It containing a Quark SoC (32-bit micro-controller @ 32 MHz), 384 KB of flash memory and 80 KB of SRAM. It also integrates a low-power sensors hub – this is really cool since you get a 6-axis gyroscope and accelerometer “for free” –, a low energy Bluetooth (BLE), and a battery charging circuit (PMIC). For about $30, the board comes pre-flashed with an RTOS that for now handles the USB communications & the programming of the board. Apparently, it will be possible to do more with this real-time OS later on – or can it be already? TBC. All the rest is very classic for an Arduino, and you will find yourself at home with this board. Note that there are other reference designs and developer kits available around the Quark SoC (such as the D2000, etc. if you want to pursue a non-Arduino style of development). With the size of a small shield (but still offering a USB-B and a barrel power connectors), the setup is very easy. Install the USB driver from the Arduino website, as well as version 1.6.7 minimum of the IDE. Once done, install the board extension, and you are good to go! Globally, the out of the box experience is much better than with Edison for example, but again, it is the Arduino philosophy after all. Overall, the 101 is a great board packed with features and gives access to Curie.