Intel’s New System-on-a-Chip

Intel recently unveiled a line of new generation system-on-a-chip designs. The Intel EP80579 Integrated Processor family can be applied to security, mobile Internet devices, storage, communications, and industrial robotics applications. The system-on-a-chip (SoC) products are based on the Pentium M processor. To welcome a latest division of highly integrated, purpose-built, and Web-savvy System on Chip (SoC) designs and products, the Intel executives designed a scheme to apply chip design expertise, factory capacity, advanced manufacturing techniques, and the economics of Moore’s Law into the chip manufacturing stages.




 Intel EP80579 integrated processor (Credit: Intel)
Intel EP80579 integrated
processor (Credit: Intel)

Intel’s new intelligent SoC chip design is based on Intel architecture (IA) used by the company’s current processors to run the greater part of the Internet. Compared to conventional SoCs, these products will reach new heights of performance and energy efficiency.  In some cases, the chips’ board footprint is 45% smaller and the power dissipation was decreased by 35%.

For each product, there is a 7-year-long life-cycle manufacturing support provided by Intel. According to the company, the SoC can be best utilized by small to medium-sized businesses (SMB) that employ or manufacture security applications, conventional, embedded, and industrial computer systems, and home networks drawing on attached storage, IP telephony, and wireless infrastructures such as WiMAX.

The chips cost between US$40 and US$95, the price depending mostly on clock speed and the type of technology incorporated in the chip. For example, one chip provides Intel’s acceleration technology for cryptographic and packet processing, used for enterprise-level and voice over IP (VoIP) applications for security appliances, such as virtual private network (VPN) gateways and firewalls. Users can develop their own security appliances or voice applications, for example, using software drivers and software modules which can be downloaded from Intel.

Intel has more than 15 SoC projects designed and in waiting, with many of the products built around the new Intel Atom Processor Core. Intel’s first Consumer Electronics (CE) chip, named “Canmore”, is planned to be launched later this year, and the second-generation “Sodaville” is due next year. “We’re now able to deliver more highly integrated products ranging from industrial robotics and in-car infotainment systems to set-top boxes, MIDs and other devices,” said Gadi Singer, Vice President of Intel’s Mobility Group and General Manager, SoC Enabling Group. “Best of all, customers and consumers will equally benefit.”

As a variety of different gadgets and devices from handheld computers to home health-monitoring devices are increasing in popularity, Intel sees an energetic market that is able to generate billions by providing for the next-generation of Internet-connected devices.

TFOT has previously covered the motherboards exhibited at the CeBIT 2008 Show, where AMD introduced its newest integrated graphics chipsets. You can also check out our article about smaller, speedier computer chips and a story regarding a new technique for making transistors out of carbon nanoribbons. Another related TFOT article concerns AMD’s 12-core processor, which includes 12MB of L3 cache and supports DDR3 RAM.

Additional information on Intel’s new line of system-on-a-chip (SoC) products can be found on the company’s website.