LONDON The world's largest chip maker Intel Corp. (Santa Clara, Calif.) is developing a variant of its Atom processor for use in harsh environments such as automotive applications, according to a Nikkei Electronics article. The industrial or automotive Atom, currently named Embedded Menlow XL, is due to ship to customers in 2009, the report said.
The announcement was made by Douglas Davis, general manager of the embedded and communications group, who tipped the move during a keynote speech given at the Embedded Technology exhibition, Nikkei said.
The Embedded Menlow XL will feature a wider operating temperature and different packaging, specifically a ball pitch expanded from 0.6-mm to 1-mm, the report said.
"It is usable in industrial and automotive purposes and it leads to the reduction of design cost," the report quoted Davis as saying. An embedded design center in the form of a design support website is also due to launch in 2009. That service will provide performance analysis services, reference designs along with configuration tools and facilities where engineers can exchange information, Nikkei said.
There was no information about what process technology would be used to implement the Atom variant or whether it would simply be the same die as the currently available Atom processor with additional heatseaking and different packaging.
The initial Atom processors have been aimed at mobile applications such as mobile internet devices, although some have made their way into industrial single-board computers. Intel did indicate its intention to drive into the automotive market in May 2008, when it tipped that it would work with Wind River Systems Inc. to provide a Linux Platform for car infotainment,optimized for Intel's Atom,
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