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Tuesday, 03 March 2009 07:58

Intel wants to put an Atom in your phone- and car too!

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Chip heavyweight Intel has announced a new line-up of its low power Atom processors specifically designed for in-car devices as well as Internet phones. The move comes as widespread processor usage spreads out of compute specific environment to Internet edge devices.

{loadposition stan}With a stated goal to target additional market segments, Intel has announced four versions of Atom processors and two new system controller hub additions to the company’s “embedded” business division product line-up.

The new products for the Intel Atom processor Z5xx series, scheduled for released in the second quarter, include industrial-temperature options, as well as different package-size choices targeting in-car infotainment devices, media phones, eco-technologies and other industrial-strength applications.

The Atom processor, the smallest and least power hungry in Intel's range, is currently making big waves in the explosive new low-end sub-notebook or netbook space, where a large proportion of the use is disconnected from grid power.

The Atom the company’s smallest, built with the world’s smallest and most energy-efficient transistors.

According to Intel, the low-power Atom processor is behind much of the company's growth into several new computing-related market segments, including embedded industries such as automotive in-vehicle infotainment (IVI), industrial control and automation and media phones.

Intel says its products also enable market segment innovation through advancements in integrated 2D and 3D graphics, video acceleration and support for multiple operating systems including several versions of Windows and Linux.

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“With the addition of these new products, we can bring the benefits of Intel processors to new applications, devices and customers who develop products used in unconstrained thermal environments with low-power in mind,” said Doug Davis, vice president, Digital Enterprise Group and general manager, Embedded and Communications Group, Intel.

{loadposition stan}“Meeting the needs of embedded environments and new market segments will play a large role in delivering the connectivity and functionality necessary as the number of devices connecting to the embedded Internet is expected to grow to an estimated 15 billion devices by 2015,” Davis added, citing a January report by IDC’s John Gantz titled “The Embedded Internet: Methodology and Findings.”
 
Intel’s 30-year-old embedded computing division focuses on machines, devices and equipment that have computing and Internet capabilities but are not traditional PCs, laptops or servers.  

“Intel is well known for innovation and we’re excited to see them introducing new low-power consumption Intel Atom processors targeted for in-vehicle systems,” said Greg Baribault, director of product management for the Automotive Business Unit at Microsoft.

“Intel Atom processors and the Microsoft Auto software platform will provide scalability for the new era of advanced in-vehicle solutions.”

In addition to in-car applications, the Intel Atom Z5xx processor series also targets an emerging category of Internet-based communications devices Intel calls “media phones” which provide communications services over IP and easy, one-touch access to lifestyle applications such as e-mail, text messaging, weather information, YouTube, horoscopes and digital photo albums.

To help accelerate this emerging device category, Intel today introduced an Intel Media Phone Reference Design designed to facilitate development of hardware solutions to market. The hardware development platform includes schematics and validated software stacks.

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Stan Beer

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Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 35 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.

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