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Intel Introduces New Atom SoC for Set-Top Boxes

By - Source: Intel's InsideScoop | B 20 comments

Intel is taking a different approach to entering the Smart TV market successfully by working with cable and satellite TV operators instead of HDTV manufacturers.

On Tuesday Intel revealed the 4th-generation Atom CE5300 "Berryville" Media Processor, a 32-nm SoC focused on the next-generation set-top boxes and media gateways. The chip promises better performance, graphics, power management and user interface improvements so that service providers in turn can dish out a more comprehensive and immersive connected experience to the end-user. One such device already available is the Amino Freedom Live media gateway which can deliver content seamlessly to TVs, smartphones and tablets around the home.

"Imagine not crowding around a PC to video chat. Instead, this new chip from Intel will enable you to video conference with friends and family from your big screen TV in the living room," writes Marcia Hansen of Intel's InsideScoop. "You’ll be able to show your girlfriends your new dance moves without having to worry about getting your laptop camera aimed properly. Also imagine a great new 3D user interface and console-level graphics for gaming with this high performance chip in set-top boxes."

The new chip features dual Atom cores with support for hyperthreading and virtualization, an advanced 3D/2D graphics engine, integrated power management, and an H.264 B-picture hardware encoder. The chip is expected to pave the way for additional services provided by the likes of Comcast and Time Warner like streaming games, home security, IT/help desk, and home automation.

"It’s the brains in a set-top box that seamlessly combines the Internet with TV," Hansen writes. "It means that Intel and service providers are all working to bring you an easy-to-use interface, 3D graphics capabilities, improved search, and of course, downloadable apps and games for your various digital TVs."

Previously Intel helped produce the chipset found in the first generation of Google TV products as well as Boxee Box by D-Link. But the company shuttered its Digital Home Group after Google TV failed to attract attention, and thus launched its Service Provider Division (SPD) to provide solutions for Telcos, Cable Multi-service Operators and Satellite providers. Current customers include Comcast, Free, Liberty Global/UPC, Bouygues Telecom, Numericable and Telecom Italia.

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  • 6 Hide
    captaincharisma , March 21, 2012 7:03 PM
    i know one thing. it will be a better CPU than any of the ones moto puts in its TV boxes right now
  • 5 Hide
    fancarolina , March 21, 2012 7:11 PM
    It doesn't take much to beat the cable boxes offered by Time Warner.

    Explorer 8300
    •Memory: 54 MB
    •CPU/Bus : 2 CPU at 250MHz on a 133MHz bus
    •Hard drive: 80 GB

    Explorer 8300HD
    •Memory: 54 MB
    •CPU/Bus : 2 CPU at 250MHz on a 133MHz bus
    •Hard drive: 160 GB
  • 2 Hide
    noobalert , March 21, 2012 7:27 PM
    I just want the Cable Monopoly to end! I would love Time Warner over my current local, ATMC those guys are a joke!
  • -5 Hide
    NivenFres , March 21, 2012 7:30 PM
    I find this funny, because I do almost all of that now with a Dual Core Atom Processor with nVidia's ION2 for graphics (except the 3d).
  • -3 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , March 21, 2012 7:33 PM
    Quote:
    console-level graphics for gaming


    *yawn* that's nothing exciting, you know.

  • 7 Hide
    joytech22 , March 21, 2012 7:36 PM
    Quote:
    an advanced 3D/2D graphics engine

    Intel, here's a tip.
    Don't EVER try to sell yourself on graphics.

    Thank you.
  • -5 Hide
    southernshark , March 21, 2012 7:49 PM
    It all sounds "ok" until you realize that Intel expects to be able to sell these for 400-500 apiece.
  • 0 Hide
    omega21xx , March 21, 2012 7:54 PM
    amk-aka-Phantom*yawn* that's nothing exciting, you know.

    I thought the best part is they said "console level graphics" when talking about an Atom CPU :lol: 
    yeah, console graphics is not very impressive, but I doubt that Atom CPU can do anything worth while graphically for gaming. Google TV's use atom and the only gaming you can get out of it would be from On Live and that's a whole different thing in itself.
  • 0 Hide
    eddieroolz , March 21, 2012 8:02 PM
    The opportunity to video conference on a big screen is very alluring.
  • 1 Hide
    lamorpa , March 21, 2012 8:06 PM
    noobalertI just want the Cable Monopoly to end! I would love Time Warner over my current local, ATMC those guys are a joke!

    Where did you mean to post this totally irrelevant comment?
  • -1 Hide
    danwat1234 , March 21, 2012 8:20 PM
    "an advanced 3D/2D graphics engine, integrated power management, and an H.264 B-picture hardware encoder"

    Haha advanced, alrighty. Graphics engine = software I think. The best I could expect out of the chip would be menu animations and maybe 3-d tetris or worms.

    So it has an encoder but what about the decoder? I KNOW that Atom chip can't decode HD in realtime.

  • 2 Hide
    fancarolina , March 21, 2012 8:22 PM
    noobalertI just want the Cable Monopoly to end! I would love Time Warner over my current local, ATMC those guys are a joke!


    I don't understand your comment. Time Warner and Comcast are the cable monopoly. You are lucky enough to live somewhere that offers a CoOp and you are complaining wishing you had the monopoly? You don't want to wish for Time Warner Cable my friend you would not like it in the end.
  • 1 Hide
    jaber2 , March 21, 2012 8:33 PM
    My quad core has been my setbox for my 46" LCD over 4 years now, been watching and browsing the web.
  • 0 Hide
    chuckydb , March 21, 2012 8:51 PM
    FancarolinaIt doesn't take much to beat the cable boxes offered by Time Warner.Explorer 8300•Memory: 54 MB•CPU/Bus : 2 CPU at 250MHz on a 133MHz bus•Hard drive: 80 GBExplorer 8300HD•Memory: 54 MB•CPU/Bus : 2 CPU at 250MHz on a 133MHz bus•Hard drive: 160 GB

    Same box for Videotron here in Quebec....
    Always found them so unreliable and slow...
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 21, 2012 9:30 PM
    As long as intel does not allow their genaric graphics drivers to be customizied by the setbox OEMs then at least owners can expect occational updates of the graphics drivers from the intel website! But if toshiba is the OEM of tv setbox, hell will have snowcones before toshiba updates their OEM customiaed graphics drivers for intel hd graohics!
  • 1 Hide
    sonofliberty08 , March 21, 2012 10:11 PM
    won't buy anything have intel atom inside
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 21, 2012 10:35 PM
    These are new ATOMS not old ATOMS. They use a graphics chip from a 3rd party vendor and they are more powerful than the older ATOMs some of you used. Then again, you can buy the crappy hardware that is out there for set tob boxes just because they don't have ATOM in it (duh).
  • 0 Hide
    Stardude82 , March 21, 2012 11:19 PM
    SheepHerder1These are new ATOMS not old ATOMS. They use a graphics chip from a 3rd party vendor and they are more powerful than the older ATOMs some of you used. Then again, you can buy the crappy hardware that is out there for set tob boxes just because they don't have ATOM in it (duh).


    Yes, Intel it looks like Intel has broken down and purchased a flavor of the PowerVR 5 license. The iPad and Vita have the same or similar design.

    EDIT: Check out Anandtech's Medfield review: http://www.anandtech.com/show/5365/intels-medfield-atom-z2460-arrive-for-smartphones/6
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , March 22, 2012 5:46 AM
    They didn't break down. They have had it. By the way, those designs are no where near as powerful as their own GPU design. It is just more power efficient... for now.
  • 0 Hide
    diantingl , March 22, 2012 6:29 AM
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