1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply on Jul 6, 2017 12:58 PM by Intel Corporation

    Joule modules discontinued?

    michael_p

      It looks like Intel will discontinue all Joule modules and kits: https://qdms.intel.com/dm/i.aspx/C3391A8F-693F-418B-B9B5-03A75113F08B/PCN115580-00.pdf

      Is this really true or some kind of bad joke on Intel's side? Can someone official please comment on this? Why wasn't this announced here on the forum? Does Intel really believe it's a clever idea with respect to your reputation to retire a product after not even a single year?

       

      Michael

        • 1. Re: Joule modules discontinued?
          MrBre

          Hi, same is for:

           

          The three boards / modules and corresponding modules will soon be no more, as Intel issues three end-of-life (EOL) notices for:

          • Intel Galileo Board, and Intel Galileo Gen2 Board Products – PDF
          • Select Intel Edison Compute Module, Intel Edison Breakout Board, Intel Edison Kit for Arduino, and Intel Edison Breakout Board Kit Products – PDF
          • Intel Joule 570x Compute Module, Intel Joule 550x Compute Module, Intel Joule 570x Developer Kit and, Intel Joule 550x Developer Kit Products – PDF

          All three follow the same “forecasted key milestones”:

          • June 16, 2017 – Product Discontinuance Program Support Begins
          • July 16, 2017 – Product Discontinuance Demand To Local Intel Representative
          • September 16, 2017 – Last Product Discontinuance Order Date
          • September 16, 2017 – Orders are Non-Cancelable and Non-Returnable After
          • December 16, 2017 – Last Product Discontinuance Shipment Date

           

          It would be nice if Intel will launch a return program with money return for all kind of Intel's Joule modules. Since it will be no longer supported by manufacturer, so why we should use it and promote it on market? If there will be no clever explanation from Intel side I can said now only - waste of money

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          • 2. Re: Joule modules discontinued?
            fnoop

            From they way they have done this, I can only assume that Intel actively want to destroy any trust and goodwill from customers, partners and manufacturers for the forseeable future.  Not announcing it, very short timescales, not telling any of their customers currently building products around these systems (even under NDA), not even posting or responding here in the official community.  Wow, well done Intel (slow handclap).

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            • 3. Re: Joule modules discontinued?
              michael_p

              How exactly should we understand "We apologize for the inconvenience and problems this MAY cause"?

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              • 4. Re: Joule modules discontinued?
                DavidYon

                Jeebus, they post a blunt, "So long and thanks for all the fish" statement, and once they get called on it the post gets deleted.

                 

                WTF?

                 

                Inconvenience?  They've inflicted financial damage on companies naive enough to think a giant like Intel would at least EOL a device with years, not months, of runway.  That's an inconvenience?

                 

                I'm just stunned.

                 

                I know this is a naive question to ask, but how hard would it be to keep fabbing the modules and let the community continue to support the software?

                 

                The irony here is that when I mentioned the Pi Compute Module to a colleague of mine, he mentioned the issue of committing to specific guaranteed dates before EOL can be considered, and that usually needs to be ten years or so.  The Pi being something of a hobbyist device, he was skeptical of using the CM in a released product.

                 

                Well, the Pi Foundation is gauranteeing the CM's until at least 2028 (or maybe 2023, too lazy to look it up right now).  Who'da thunk they'd best Intel on that front?

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                • 5. Re: Joule modules discontinued?
                  StezMIND

                  Here another complain from a small company who was basing its design on Joule, and trusted Intel on that
                  (we had CDNA in place and direct contacts as well, and as others no communication about this).

                   

                  As DavidYon said, Intel should, at least for the Joule who's just few months old, do another product run to have enough pieces to sell and do their best to have a community support of the module. Which includes releasing BIOS generation tools, Broxton datasheets and whatever else is needed.

                   

                  I can understand that not everything could be released (e.g. third-party's firmware), but maybe it's possible to have those parts as binary-only.

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                  • 6. Re: Joule modules discontinued?
                    Hutch118

                    Just commenting support on this horrible news. This is really sad I'm close to completion on a prototype with the Joule and Realsense ZR300 now Intel cut the cord. Should have stuck with the Nvidia Jetson and Zed. Intel never fully documented things and a lot of late nights figuring it out for ourselves. If there's no buyback program for the short lived Joule I'm done with Intel. I'm sure my "tiny" company is insignificant to Intel and the individual hobbyist don't even blip their radar.

                     

                    The Joule's life was pretty much a partial-birth abortion.

                    -out

                    • 7. Re: Joule modules discontinued?
                      floydg

                      This is extremely disappointing news from Intel. Poor vision and follow through.

                       

                      Also, a major issue and concern for all of the individuals/companies that provided "free" grass roots support for Intel: Edison, Joule, and were developing products with expectations of support and delivery from Intel.

                       

                      For those moving on with Ubuntu based products what are your "recommendations" for 3rd party boards (and associated pros and cons):

                      • Raspberry Pi 3
                      • DragonBoard 410C
                      • Samsung Artik 5 or 10
                      • 8. Re: Joule modules discontinued?
                        Hutch118

                        Floyd,

                         

                        I'm moving to the Nvidia TX2. I need a lot of power in my CV and deep learning. Total overkill for many projects. They do have good support community and several carrier boards on the market.

                        • 9. Re: Joule modules discontinued?
                          McCool

                          You might want to consider the UP Board series from Aaeon.  These use Cherry Trail and Apollo Lake processors, are cost-effective, and the available models hit various useful points in the power/performance tradeoff curve.   They also can run desktop Ubuntu no problem and I've used them in many ROS projects.  They have also explicitly been tested with the RealSense cameras.   The new UP Core is good if you want compactness with expansion capabilities.   The UP Squared is good if you want performance and space and power are not big constraints.   The original UP Board uses a Rasp-Pi form factor.  These are targeted at "makers" or early-stage entrepreneurs, but Aaeon itself also makes a lot of industrial SBCs, so there are good upgrade paths to "pro" SBCs if you need them (eg with wider temp ranges, etc).

                           

                          If you want a faster off-the-shelf solution, eg. for education or research rather than for product development, take a look at the Euclid, which is basically a Cherry Trail SBC with an integrated ZR300 (and battery!), with Ubuntu and ROS pre-loaded.

                           

                          You should also not overlook COM Express modules if you liked the Joule modular solution.  COM modules follow a multi-vendor standard and so can be sourced from multiple vendors and give you an upgrade path.  The link below is from Kontron but they are just an example; there are many vendors; just do a Google search for "COM Express"

                           

                          Links:

                          Are you UP for UP?

                          Intel® Euclid™ Development Kit - Intel® RealSense™ Developer Kits

                          https://www.kontron.com/products/boards-and-standard-form-factors/com-express

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                          • 10. Re: Joule modules discontinued?
                            michael_p

                            Hi McCool,

                             

                            Thank you for your post! (this is actually the first helpful reaction to the discontinuance from someone from Intel...)

                            Do you have any suggestions for alternatives that are as small and lightweight as the Joule but also similarly powerful? We're running the Joule on a tiny drone so every additional gram counts.

                            Although there are many small ARM-based COMs (like the ones from Variscite or Toradex) the only ones that can compete with the Joule in terms of performance-per-weight-ratio are the COMs from Inforce (based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon) but they have other problems like only Android support etc.

                             

                            If you have any further suggestions it would be great if you could share them!

                             

                            Best

                            Michael

                            • 11. Re: Joule modules discontinued?
                              McCool

                              Since you are talking drones, have you looked at the Aero Compute Board?  Works with RealSense, quad-core processor, built in WiFi...

                              Intel® Aero Compute Board | Intel® Software

                              • 12. Re: Joule modules discontinued?
                                michael_p

                                We did consider it initially when starting the project but the Aero Board is already too large and heavy (around 60g with heatsink, compared to just 25g for the Joule). Moreover, after this mess I do not really see myself ever relying on Intel again for anything remotely serious.

                                 

                                Anyway, thank you for taking the time to answer!

                                Michael

                                • 13. Re: Joule modules discontinued?
                                  DavidYon

                                  michael_p, that was a very diplomatic way of putting it.  I'm going to be a little more blunt...

                                   

                                  From my perspective, it is yet another layer of unreality that when members of a community are abruptly left to sink or swim, Intel's response is to say "here, we have another product you could use!"   Why on earth would anyone who just got burnt by the Joule/Edison debacle jump back on ship?  Seriously Intel, WTF?

                                   

                                  Last week an Intel rep posted, then took down, a response that declared that Intel was terminating its participation in Maker-related products.  Or something to that effect.  That in itself shows Intel's lack of understanding.

                                   

                                  If you factor out Galileo and related products, focusing solely on Edison/Joule, I submit the observation that these are not really "Maker" products.  They are far too expensive and complex for the vast majority of that market.  Rather, they are production-ready modules that can be (and have been) used in commercial products.  The difference from Intel's similar products in that they are more accessible to smaller, more agile OEMs:

                                   

                                  • They are available in Quantity 1 from a large number of supply houses that service customers both large and small.  Go to Mouser's or Sparkfun's online store, it's that easy.
                                  • There is no need for NDA's, large purchase commitments, etc to incorporate the devices into end-products.  Just place a Quantity 5,000 order with Mouser and you're good to go!
                                  • Intel gets the benefit of community involvement in documenting and improving the product (from a software perspective at least).  By the same measure, the community has some ability to customize to their needs without a heavyweight commitment to Intel.

                                   

                                  Intel seems to have the perception that just walking away from these products is without consequence.  These are just hobbyist Maker's after all, so pulling the toys off the shelf is no big deal.

                                   

                                  Certainly the hobbyists are out there.  But the customers Intel should care about are the serious contenders in building real products.  They need to know that their BOM's are not going to implode with no notice.  This is exactly why choosing Intel over some startup's cool board made sense to them.  But it doesn't make sense now.

                                   

                                  Anyway, that's one engineer's take on the situation...

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                                  • 14. Re: Joule modules discontinued?
                                    fnoop

                                    @McCool Thanks for the response.  Didn't know about the COM express modules, they look like a good option for people building carriers/products to prevent against this sort of lunacy from Intel. 

                                    I also really like the look of the new compute cards:

                                    Intel® Compute Card – The Latest in Integrated Compute

                                     

                                    I wouldn't go anywhere near the likes of the Euclid or Aero board now as I don't trust Intel to keep them going.  I should be a perfect customer for the Aero board as I'm focused on small drones, but I've never understood the point of it.  Why not just use a Joule which is much smaller?  It uses a separate proprietary (ARM!) flight controller anyway, so why have such an oddly specific board for doing essentially what a Joule can do just as well, in a much smaller space.  Suspect this was Intel designing by committee and multiple departments not talking to each other.  Madness.

                                     

                                    Thanks for the bits of wisdom and enthusiasm you've shown for the project, please do take that onto your next projects   It makes a huge difference to acceptance from the public.

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