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Intel Atom CE4100 Gets Beefed Up to Be SoC

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 13 comments

Intel Atom becomes a System-on-Chip.

The Intel Atom is going to be appearing in more places than just the countless number of nettops and netbooks of today (and tomorrow).

Intel at IDF announced the Atom CE4100 processor, which was formerly codenamed Sodaville. The CE4100 is a System-on-Chip processor that integrates not only the Atom core, but also a display processor, graphics processor, video display controller, transport processor, a dedicated security processor and general I/O including SATA-300 and USB 2.0.

Such a package is designed to be the core to digital TVs, DVD players and advanced set-top boxes – particularly as more consumer devices become net-connected for streaming content and other media.

"Traditional broadcast networks are quickly shifting from a linear model to a multi-stream, Internet-optimized model to offer consumers digital entertainment that complements the TV such as social networking, 3-D gaming and streaming video," said Eric Kim, senior vice president and general manager, Intel Digital Home Group. "At the center of the TV evolution is the CE4100 media processor, a new architecture that meets the critical requirements for connected CE devices."

The CE4100 will run up to 1.2 GHz in order to stay power friendly for set-top devices. It is backward compatible with the outgoing Pentium-based CE3100 and supports hardware decode of up to two 1080p video streams and 3-D graphics and audio standards. New over the CE3100 is decoding hardware for MPEG4 video that is ready for DivX Home Theater 3.0 certification, an integrated NAND flash controller, support for both DDR2 and DDR3 memory and 512K L2 cache.

Earlier this week, Intel revealed that the Atom processor would also find a home into BMW and Mercedes-Benz vehicles for the 2012 model year.

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  • 10 Hide
    ssalim , September 25, 2009 6:04 PM
    I'll get -20 for this but I guess it can't possibly run Crysis.
    Lol.
Other Comments
  • 10 Hide
    ssalim , September 25, 2009 6:04 PM
    I'll get -20 for this but I guess it can't possibly run Crysis.
    Lol.
  • 8 Hide
    ChuvelxD , September 25, 2009 6:24 PM
    You retards are missing the point of all this. It isn't mean to be a desktop, or even notebook grade processor. It's for netbooks and for t.v. tuners and stuff. There isn't much processing need behind those devices and the processing power you DO need Intel is setting themselves up to be the chip of choice. Why would you need a desktop-grade processor for a DVR? You don't.
  • 5 Hide
    Camikazi , September 25, 2009 6:41 PM
    zipzoomflyhigh1.2ghz? Low power for set-top devices?? I can understand battery operated devices needing low power soc but a set top? Poor excuse for another slow ass Atom.

    You do realize most set-top DVRs use 80-300MHz CPUs with 400MHz DDR RAM right? This Chip is a huge jump for those types of devices, need to remember electronics that do just one thing don't need components as fast as general electronics do, they can do more with less since it can be programmed to do that one thing efficiently.
  • -5 Hide
    Anonymous , September 25, 2009 7:21 PM
    Great! Now my netbook will truly have the same processing speed as a portable DVD player.
  • 2 Hide
    Shadow703793 , September 25, 2009 8:06 PM
    I smell a very good DVR/HTPC type thing coming soon.
  • -3 Hide
    thackstonns , September 25, 2009 9:56 PM
    Shadow703793I smell a very good DVR/HTPC type thing coming soon.


    really, because last time I checked intel couldnt output 1080p, so either they updated something or they will suck
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , September 25, 2009 10:55 PM
    It would have to be pretty low power consumption and price. The box I am using now is using 25W when recording 2 video streams and playing a prerecorded stream. I don't know what the power consumption is when idle is, but I know that both tuners and the hard disk shut down.

    Price in the set-top box market is probably going to be the main issue. The cable companies probably buy boxes in the 100,000 at a time type rate. If Intel is trying to sell a $35 chip vs Broadcom selling a $15 chip that would mean a lot more $$. Even $1/per box is quite a bit in those quantities.

    Would probably make a sweet processor if the video can manage 1080p.
  • 0 Hide
    Shadow703793 , September 26, 2009 2:34 AM
    thackstonnsreally, because last time I checked intel couldnt output 1080p, so either they updated something or they will suck

    Correct, but there was a few reports they were working on that.
  • 0 Hide
    jeffkro , September 26, 2009 4:36 AM
    Streaming video usually uses flash, such as HULU. Flash video in HD quality needs more cpu muscle then the current atom 330 can provide. Unless they made the actual cpu part significantly faster it will not be good enough for a "do all" HTPC.

    P.S. so far flash video can't be done in hardware acceleration.
  • 0 Hide
    Blessedman , September 27, 2009 7:08 AM
    "New over the CE3100 is decoding hardware for MPEG4 video that is ready for DivX Home Theater 3.0 certification, an integrated NAND flash controller, support for both DDR2 and DDR3 memory and 512K L2 cache."

    I think that would be how they are less likely to suck...
  • -2 Hide
    FSC , September 28, 2009 6:05 AM
    They really are pushing their crap to anywhere. First they overwhelmed PCs, Supercomputers, then netbooks, then cars, now home electronics. WHAT next... all living things with Intels CPUs(Crap Processing Unit to control our poo production). Maan do I just dislike tyrannical, ruthless and monopolistic, too big for one world, companies.

    And the worst of all is that this is going to happen. As Intel uses their questionable competition techniques the manufactures don't stand a chance.
  • 0 Hide
    chuenl , September 28, 2009 8:35 PM
    This article failed to mention how low the power consumption is. But I found the information from another website:
    http://www.gizmos-and-gadgets.net/intel-ce4100-media-processor


    It was built on the low capability Atom processor core, making it the ideal “brain” for set top boxes including cable boxes and Blu-ray players, although it shouldn’t see any action in notebooks. Capable of running at clock speeds up to 1.2GHz while featuring FSB speeds of 200MHz to 400MHz while
    supporting playback of 2 simultaneous 1080p video streams, the Intel CE4100 is truly a capable piece of silicon wizardry, supportting H.264 video playback, 3D graphics and streaming media in Flash 10 format. In addition, it does all that while consuming a mere 7 to 9 watts.
  • 0 Hide
    peas , February 18, 2010 5:27 PM
    Camikazi wrote "You do realize most set-top DVRs use 80-300MHz CPUs with 400MHz DDR RAM right? This Chip is a huge jump for those types of devices.."

    A misleading statement at best. Embedded CPUs specialized for this type of work can be faster than an Intel x86 chip that's 2-8x higher clock speed. You're being fooled by one metric (chip frequency), behavior that Intel marketing has wet dreams about. They have to use a high clock speed Intel x86 chip to compensate for its low performance-per-watt.
    I guarantee you that the 2nd gen version will not use an Intel chip, but an embedded CPU such as ARM. It takes time to develop for a new platform, so they're releasing a working 1st-gen with inefficient Intel chips.