Embedded Systems Switch to Intel- Inside at CES Share your comment!

Intel already had the lowest-power processors for servers, workstations and PCs, but laid claim to the lowest-power embedded processors as well at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2013, Jan. 8-11, Las Vegas, Nev.) 

Intel’s evidence: An independent test lab report from The Verge, which pitted Intel’s Atom processor against Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor in otherwise identical Motorola RAZR smartphones. Researchers found the Intel-powered RAZRi had 18 percent longer battery life and 72 hours of standby time. “Intel’s Atom is far more frugal with power than the dual-core Snapdragon,” the study concluded.


Mike Bell, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Mobile and Communications Group shows the ecosystem of mobile devices running on Intel technology including Intel Atom processors running Windows 8 and Google’s Android with next-generation single, dual and quad-core Atom systems-on-chip (SoCs).

“The Verge has shown what we already knew–that Atom is very competitive on battery life,” said Mike Bell, vice president and general manager of the Mobile and Communications Group. “Intel technology has produced a better product.”

Embedded Going Green 

Power consumption has become as important as performance for embedded systems –extending the battery life of mobile devices and meeting green-mandates in line-powered equipment. 

Atom already has dozens of design wins in mobile tablets and ultrabooks, as well as for line-powered servers and embedded systems. But at CES revealed seven major smartphone design wins were also revealed.

Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) including Acer, Asus, Dell, Fujitsu, HP, Lenovo, LG and Samsung–all using Intel’s embedded processors. They hope to gain access to its x86 software tome, and to take advantage of its features for security, face/gesture/voice recognition and touch control accessible from Windows 8 and Windows Phone, along with Google’s Android with built-in emulation of ARM by x86.

“We worked very closely with Google to produce a highly optimized version of Android for our platform,” explains Bell. “We also included some Intel developed technology that lets the majority of Android apps just run on Atom no matter what platform they were created for.”

Atom Shows Wide Range

Intel makes a strong case to OEMs considering Atom in future embedded systems. It’s offerings encompass a wide range, including the:  

  • inexpensive Z2420  (code-named “Lexington”) with on-chip hyper-threading, HD codecs and XMM 6265 HSPA+ 
  • dual-core Z2760 processors (codenamed “Clover Trail+”) with double the performance and LTE support 
  • first quad-core Atom (codenamed “Bay Trail”), which provides a complete embedded system-on-chip (SoC) at under five-watts using its 22-nanometer process, and which will shrink to 14-nanometer in 2014 thus putting Atom a least a generation ahead of ARM

Today Intel’s Core processors can already go down to seven-watts, according to Bell, who claims its 22-nanometer Core processors (codenamed Haswell) due out later in 2013 will improve the energy efficiency of embedded systems more than any previous generation in Intel’s history. That calculation is based on providing up to 5 more hours of additional battery life during 1080p video playback over current third generation Intel Core processors.

Posted on January 9, 2013 by Colin Johnson, Geeknet Contributing Editor