Intel introduces 'configurable' Atom E600C series

Combines Atom E600 with a programmable FPGA array
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Intel has announced the launch of a ‘configurable’ Atom E600C series of processors which combines the E600 Atom with an Altera FPGA programmable chip in a single package.

The chipmaker said that the new Atom processor would provide “greater flexibility and faster time-to-market” for customers who would be able to handle design changes of mobile systems without complicated hardware changes.

“Our customers’ needs are continually evolving and they look to Intel to provide leading-edge products and technologies that will help them differentiate and compete in the markets they serve,” said Intel Embedded and Communications boss Doug Davis.

Yesterday ARM co-founder Dr Hermann Hauser called Intel’s mobile CPU business “doomed” because low power mobile manufacturers don’t buy CPUs normally but rather buy products from chipmakers which offer a variety of hardware features including a licensed CPU core from ARM.

Intel’s move with the Atom E600C series demonstrates a recognition that the firm needs to be able to offer a flexibility of hardware functionality in a limited physical package. However the firm is also relying on the ability to convince manufacturers that they should buy chips directly from Intel and only Intel.

“Our new configurable Atom series helps to address these customer needs and provides greater flexibility with a simplified product choice, through one vendor,” added Davis.

To be fair, Intel say that the Atom E600C series is ideal for an entirely different set of product categories than consumer devices such as tablets and smartphones. Portable medical equipment, communications gear, vision systems and voice over Internet protocol devices are examples of where the firm expects the Atom E600C to meet with success.

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