Low power in constrained spaces is a tricky business, even for ARM based SoCs with the Qualcomm 810 overheating saga a few months ago. Now it’s time for Intel to feel the heat, as the company has has to recall Basis Peak smartwatches / fitness trackers due to potential overheating causing skin burns.
Josh Walden – senior vice president and general manager of the New Technology Group at Intel Corporation – stated:
On behalf of the Basis Science team, I want to personally apologise for this situation, we know that many of you love using your Basis Peak watches and have made them part of your daily lives, and we are very sorry for the disruption this will cause you, we had hoped to update the software on your watch to address the problem, unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we aren’t able to develop such a solution without completely compromising the experience.
The watch sold for $234 in the US and €244 in Europe, and Intel will offer a full refund to customers.
Interestingly enough, the watch was not based on one of Intel low power processors, but Silicon Labs EFM32 Wonder Gecko ARM Cortex-M4 MCU, which should be features in many other designs, so the overheating issue was likely caused by the overall system design, rather than the MCU itself.