ORLANDO, Fla. -- Intel Corp. and IBM Corp. and announced today they are collaborating on in-car computing products that will enable automakers to provide wireless and Web-based services such as navigation, communication and information.
Systems based on these in-car computing platforms -- also known as in-vehicle information systems --could be offered automakers next year, the two companies said.
Intel's role will be to provide extended-temperature versions of the Pentium processor as well as in-car computing reference platforms. The extended-temperature Pentiums will be able to withstand a range of -40 C to +85 C degrees ambient -- the range of temperatures in which automobiles operate.
The processors will also include MMX technology, designed for multimedia-intensive applications.
IBM will provide its Pervasive Computing software, which is a suite of advanced software for managing the in-vehicle information systems. The software suite includes IBM's VisualAge MicroEdition, which incorporates embedded Java, as well as voice-recognition and text-to-speech functions. This software is used along with interfaces to the vehicle to communicate information to the driver and the outside world via the Internet.
The IBM software is also offered with a developers kit tailored for use by automakers or software developers to assist them in developing consumer applications.
Intel and IBM are demonstrating their technology this week at the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) exposition in Orlando. The demonstration includes examples showing potential vehicle malfunctions being discovered and diagnosed. The driver is then alerted and a dealer repair service contacted for help. Other application examples include e-mail, navigation and accessing information via the Web.
"We share a common vision of how in-car computing will enhance consumers lives by allowing them to safely and more fully utilize their time in the car," said Mike Iannitti, director of the In-Car Computing Operation at Intel in Santa Clara, Calif.
Raj Desai, IBM's director of worldwide automotive solutions, added, "The fact that Intel microprocessor technology now drives the IBM Java-based Pervasive Computing software is a significant milestone in our efforts to use Java-based open standards in helping automakers bring in-vehicle information systems to consumers."
Automobiles are expected to be a significant semiconductor market in the years ahead. Multimedia is one of the areas, along with safety and security, and body electronic applications leading the way to new chip applications, according to a recent market study by Forward Concepts of Tempe, Ariz. The overall market for semiconductors in the automotive market will grow at an annual rate of 8.8%, from $9.5 billion in 1998 to $17 billion 2005, said the market researcher.
A new trend, multiplexing of electronic systems, will both alter the normal distribution of semiconductor components and open the electronic systems market to additional aftermarket products, according to Forward Concepts.