By Antone Gonsalves
Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) on Thursday is expected to introduce the first products of a new generation of system-on-a-chip designs that will target several markets, including consumer electronics, mobile Internet devices, and embedded systems.
The first batch of products is under the Intel EP80579 Integrated Processor line for industrial robotics and for security, storage, and communication devices. The system-on-a-chip (SoC) products are based on the Pentium M processor. Intel plans to base future SoC hardware on its Atom processor, which was released this year for low-power mobile Internet devices.
The new products each contain four chips -- a CPU core, memory controller, input/output controller, and acceleration technology -- integrated into one system. Intel claims the SoCs are 45% smaller and uses 34% less power than other Intel chips with similar capabilities. Each of the new offerings come with seven-year manufacturing support and are best suited for embedded and industrial computer systems, small and midsize business and home network-attached storage, enterprise security devices, Internet telephony, and wireless infrastructure.
Prices range from $40 to $95, depending on clock speed and whether the product includes Intel's acceleration technology for cryptographic and packet processing for enterprise-level voice over IP applications and/or for security appliances, such as VPN gateways and firewalls. Intel also provides software drivers and software modules for download, such as libraries for secure enterprise voice applications and tools for developing security appliances.