Intel 'rediscovers' embedded
There has undoubtedly been a feeling in the embedded sector that Intel had "rediscovered" embedded in the past year. In March, at Embedded World in Nuremberg, Intel launched its "embedded-ready" Atom program, which included paying its respects to the sector's long-life requirements (seven-year life cycle) and more-appropriate packaging. There was a stream of press presentations from board suppliers, with Intel sharing the podium and repeating the mantra of "15 billion connected devices by 2015." It was a similar scene at the Embedded Systems Conference in Silicon Valley in April.
VDC Research Group Inc. forecasts that more than 10.7 billion embedded processors, including CPUs, DSPs, FPGAs and MCUs, will be shipped in 2009. That's not a market to sniff at.
So Intel is feeling good about the embedded sector, and the feeling looks to be mutual. Intel has cash, so why shouldn't it look to expand its revenue base and widen the technology it can offer?
Wind River, for its part, has come through some sticky patches in the past decade but now has its house in order. In March, the company said it turned a loss of $2.4 million in 2008 into a profit of $10.8 million for its 2009 financial year. Was it just happenstance that it has been making regular technology announcements with Intel over the past year?
The two companies are initially targeting the aerospace and defense, network infrastructure, industrial, medical and imaging markets. Conspicuous in its absence is consumer--Intel's traditional market.
Perhaps virtualization is key to the deal. As 3i Group plc executive Laurence Garrett said in April, "The virtualization of data processing and the rollout of broadband are driving another wave" of activity.
-- Colin Holland, editor for EE Times Europe and Embedded Systems Design Europe
From 'Intel inside' to 'Intel everywhere'
Intel is slowly but steadily moving from "Intel Inside" to "Intel Everywhere," especially in consumer devices.
Intel is serious about moving beyond the PC and into devices, said Daya Nadamuni, chief analyst at Gary Smith EDA. The company doesn't really have a non-PC play, and since it wants to move further into the consumer device market, it sees the acquisition as a way to grow its footprint in that sector.
-- Nicolas Mokhoff, EE Times design editor