Intel Corp. this week announced code-named Tunnel Creek system-on-chip (SoC) based on Atom processor cores, which will support third-party input/output controllers, something that potentially allows to install the SoC into various types of devices. The new Atom platform is supposed to compensate the lack of third-party Atom-based system-on-chips that were supposed to come out as a result of Intel-TSMC pact, which is now on hiatus.
Intel Tunnel Creek SoC includes Atom processor core, graphics core, memory controller, display controller, audio core, SPI/LPC interfaces as well as PCI Express x4 controller. The Queens Bay platform allows to connect third-party I/O controllers or other needed chips via PCIe bus, which makes it possible to connect chips from third-party companies. The flexibility in this highly integrated one-chip solution helps reduce bill of materials and saves on board real estate for embedded applications.
Intel hopes that the new Tunnel Creek system-on-chip and Queens Bay platform will be used inside broad array of devices, including IP phones, printers and infotainment systems. Unfortunately, Intel does not list a single partner that plans to use Tunnel Creek.
Still, Intel highlighted work with HawTai, a major Chinese car maker that plans to use Intel Atom processors and MeeGo software for their in-car infotainment systems. In addition, China Mobile, the world's largest wireless telecommunications company, will adopt Intel chips for targeted platforms powering its wireless networks.