Computer giant Intel has introduced a new microchip - developed in Ireland - that will be used in its products on sale worldwide.

The Quark SoC X1000 and the Intel Galileo board were both designed at the company's plant in Leixlip in Co Kildare by a team of 70 people.

Intel's CEO Brian Krzanich officially launched them earlier today at the Maker Faire conference in Rome.

The chip will be suitable for use in wearable devices and for machines that communicate with one another via the internet.

It is also likely to be used as a development tool by developers, hobbyists and enthusiasts. 

The chip is the first Intel product developed from inception in the country and will carry the label "Designed in Ireland".

Although it is not clear whether the development will lead to the creation of additional jobs here, the IDA has welcomed it as a major coup.

Two Irish universities, Trinity College Dublin and UCC, are also among 17 universities around the world who will shortly receive a donation of boards from the company as part of a plan to develop a research and design curriculum around them.

In total Intel plans to donate 50,000 of the boards to 1,000 universities over the next 18 months. Intel has been in Ireland since 1989 and employs 4,500 here.

"The Quark SoC is the culmination of years of hard work, collaboration, and unwavering vision on the part of a number of people and represents an important development of design competency for Intel Ireland," commented the company's Irish general manager Eamonn Sinnott.