LONDON Intel has announced that is developing a system-on-chip for embedded applications based around its Atom processor core. However, it appears the SoC will be of a fixed design with a PCI Express bus interface to which system-level customers can attach their own or third-party chips.
Similarly it appears that Intel will manufacture the system-chip internally rather than allowing a foundry to make the chip, or add its customers' IP to the design.
Doug Davis, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel's embedded and communications group, disclosed details of the "Tunnel Creek" SoC during his keynote speech on Wednesday (April 14) at the Intel Developer Forum, in Beijing China.
Tunnel Creek goes some way to justifying the SoC label by integrating an Intel Atom processor core, a memory controller block, graphics processor and video processor into a single chip with PCI Express as the off-chip highway. It also includes active noise cancellation for use in audio applications, according to some reports.
The chip will enable companies to connect their own custom-built silicon to the Intel chip, as long as it is PCI Express compliant, to create "flexible" two-chip-plus-memory systems.
Tunnel Creek represents a change as previously Intel had provided a processor plus support-chip, connected through a proprietary bus interface.
The chip is expected to launch in the fourth quarter of 2010. Intel tends to launch its chips at the same time as its customers, which implies the chip is sampling now.
Tunnel Creek is intended for embedded applications, such as in-vehicle-infotainment and IP media phones. Intel did not indicate what manufacturing process technology would be used the Tunnel Creek Atom processor SoC.
According to reports it is made using 45-nm process technology and is expected to have a power consumption of 3 watts.
Related links and articles:
Intel has ported Android to Atom
ESC: Confab to host another round of Intel versus ARM
Six reasons why no one wants an Atom-based SoC
A real-time approach to optimizing Intel multicore architectures