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Intel Introduces First IA System on Chip for Consumer Electronics

At the Intel Developer Forum, Intel Corporation introduced the Intel Media Processor CE 3100, the first in a new family of purpose-built System on Chips (SoCs) for Consumer Electronics devices based on the company's Intel Architecture (IA) blueprint.

Executives on Wednesday also provided updates on the Mobile Internet Device (MID) category and Intel Atom processor, unveiled a brand with DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. around the shift to 3D movie-making and outlined a number of efforts to speed many-core processor software design.

The CE 3100 has been developed for Internet-connected consumer electronics (CE) products such as optical media players, connected CE devices, advanced cable set top boxes and digital TVs. The media processor (previously codenamed "Canmore") combines CE features for high-definition video support, home-theater quality audio and advanced 3D graphics, with the performance, flexibility and compatibility of IA-based hardware and software.

As another SoC product from Intel, the Intel Media Processor CE 3100 is a highly integrated solution that pairs an IA processor core with multi-stream video decoding and processing hardware. It also adds a 3-channel 800 MHz DDR2 memory controller, dedicated multi-channel dual audio DSPs, a 3D graphics engine enabling advanced UIs and EPGs, and support for multiple peripherals, including USB 2.0 and PCI Express.

The Intel Media Processor CE 3100 also features Intel Media Play Technology that combines hardware-based decoding for broadcast TV and optical media playback with software-based decode for Internet content. When a consumer watches broadcast TV or content on optical media players, the video is encoded in standard formats, such as MPEG-2, H.264 or VC-1. Intel Media Play Technology software routes the video to the on-chip hardware decoders. When viewing Internet content, the software automatically routes the video, and audio as applicable, to a software codec running on the IA processor core. As the Internet becomes more omnipresent, the ability to decode multiple video and audio formats will provide the industry with greater flexibility to evolving standards and technologies, and consumers with more viewing experiences.

The Intel Media Processor CE 3100 is scheduled to ship to CE manufacturers, including Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and Toshiba.

Also, Anand Chandrasekher, Intel senior vice president and general manager for the Ultra Mobility Group, discussed how Intel Atom processor Z5xx series-based MIDs are becoming platforms for innovation in the mobile ecosystem. He added that the Internet revolution continues unabated with the rapid growth of social networking, user-generated content and location-based services. These trends are even more important for mobile users who are demanding the right device to take this experience with them.

Building on the launch of the Intel Atom processor for MIDs in April, Chandrasekher reinforced the growing need for performance, Internet and software compatibility, and wireless broadband connectivity in order to bring Internet innovations to pocketable devices. He showcased a range of MIDs coming to market across the target market segments and welcomed executives from Clarion and Panasonic to launch their products in the U.S. market. Chandrasekher also demonstrated the world's first full 1080p high-definition video playback in a handheld device on the upcoming OQO MID. Additionally, he highlighted MIDs from Fujitsu and Lenovo.

Supporting the diverse range of devices spotlighted at IDF this week in San Francisco is a rapidly developing software ecosystem based on the Moblin-based operating system. More than 10 software vendors, including GyPSii for social networking, Fuel Games for online gaming, Move Networks for Internet TV programming and Neusoft for UI and applications, announced plans for making their applications available for Moblin-based MIDs.

Continuing on the path of innovation, Chandrasekher reinforced Intel's MID roadmap with the next-generation platform codenamed "Moorestown," which is on track for 2009/2010. Holding up the first wafer, he announced that first silicon has been produced, reinforced the versatility of the architecture, and the opportunity to target the communication MID with data and voice capabilities.

Source: Intel Corporation

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