Brian Krzanich, the successor to Paul Otellini in the Intel CEO chair, describes himself as a passionate "maker." At the Rome Maker Faire today, Krzanich is announcing Intel's new Galileo development board, which is designed to be a cheap and accessible platform for homebrew computer enthusiasts to build upon. Powered by Intel's tiny Quark X1000 system-on-chip, Galileo is fully compatible with Arduino shields and, moreover, will form the basis for a future collaboration between Intel and Arduino.

Intel's donating 50,000 dev boards to 1,000 universities

The initial goal with Galileo is to get the hardware adopted by educational institutions for hands-on engineering teaching, and to that end, Intel is donating 50,000 development boards to a thousand universities across the globe. They'll be distributed over the next 18 months, while retail availability is planned for the end of November. The main attraction of the Galileo board looks to be its variety of interfaces, which includes PCI-Express and the ability to act as both a USB device and host.

Tapping into the Arduino community is a major coup for Intel, who might have had a much harder time convincing people to use its dev platform when faced with the wildly popular Raspberry Pi alternative. That super-cheap ARM-based dev board has captured people's imaginations and helped them build all sorts of basic electronics. Now Intel's joining in on this burgeoning DIY movement with its own hardware contribution.