Intel Launches First Quad-Core Chip For Embedded Systems

Unveiled at the Embedded Systems Conference, the chips are expected to power single-board computers, telecom equipment, medical imaging devices, and other embedded applications.

Antone Gonsalves, Contributor

April 3, 2007

2 Min Read

Intel on Tuesday introduced its first quad-core chips for embedded systems and unveiled plans to introduce its system-on-a-chip design in early 2008.

The latest chips are members of the Xeon processor 5300 series. The E5335 and E5345 are quad-core chips designed as more powerful alternatives to Intel's duo-core chips used in single-board computers, telecom equipment, medical imaging devices, and other embedded applications.

The new system-on-a-chip design brings together the core processor, a memory controller hub, and an in/out control hub in one piece of silicon. Intel currently sells chips with the core processor separate from the two hubs. Intel said it plans to release more details about the processors and design opportunities at the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing April 17.

The new products were introduced at the Embedded Systems Conference in San Jose, Calif. Chips for this market differ from notebook and desktop processors in that they have to be manufactured and available for at least five years. In addition, the chips are made for boards designed for use in smaller devices.

Intel said the E5335 and E5345 have clock speeds of 2 GHz and 2.3 GHz, respectively; 8 Mbytes of cache; and a 1,333-MHz front side bus. The chips use 80 watts of power and cost $690 each in batches of 1,000.

The new products are made to run in machines that need higher performing chips than Intel's current models but also need processors that can fit in the same device, Doug Davis, VP of the Digital Enterprise Group, told InformationWeek before his keynote. "The new quad cores fit the same footprint as the duo cores."

Intel also introduced at the conference a new model of its IP Network Server. The NSC2U is powered by an Intel Xeon 5335 processor, which is based on 65-nanometer technology. The product is scheduled for release in July.

Intel's quad-core chips give it a leg up over rival Advanced Micro Devices, which plans to start production on a competing product, code-named Barcelona, this fall. AMD claims the processor, which packs four Opteron cores on a single die, will have a floating-point performance 42% higher than Intel's top-of-the-line CPU, the Xeon X5355.

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