Intel reveals its latest Atom chips for IoT and smart cars

26 Oct 2016

Smart car concept. Image: Syda Productions/Shutterstock

Intel is doubling down on IoT with the launch of two new processors, which aim to be the backbone of a multitude of connected devices, as well as smart cars.

The Atom series of processor was initially launched for use within the internet of things (IoT), but these latest processors from Intel are firmly aimed at applications on an industrial level.

With just under twice the computing power of the previous generation, the E3900 Series is designed to enable faster memory speeds and memory bandwidth to allow companies to look past the fog, or fog computing to be exact.

Future Human

This refers to the process whereby the E3900 series chip would be able to determine in real time whether or not it can handle a bulk of processes on its own, or if it would share the load with a data centre.

For media-rich applications, the chip will feature quad core processors capable of running up to 2.5GHz. It will manage graphics on three screens at the one time to make things easier for those managing a smart system.

It also features four vector image-processing units; for better video quality in low light, noise reduction, and colour and detail preservation.

Intel has also said the chip will be one of its fastest to date, with network accuracy to within a microsecond.

The chip behind smart cars

The second chip to be released is the A3900, which has the sole purpose of handling automotive applications. This includes in-vehicle infotainment (IVI), clusters of digital instruments, and the latest driver assist features that are being rolled out by many auto manufacturers.

This new chip will offer a faster processing time for reversing sensors, bird’s-eye view parking or predicting imminent side collisions. It has an expected release date of Q1 2017.

Intel will be hoping that these two new chips can boost the finances of its IoT and data centre technology. This sector was revealed last July to be experiencing slow growth, despite the fact Intel was banking on it to be its main focus in the future.

The company took this decision back in April, as part of a $1.2bn restructuring that saw it cut 12,000 jobs in the process.

However, the company has continued to make investments and acquisitions in IoT technology, including Ireland’s Movidius in September, having revealed plans to use the latter’s technology to provide computer vision and deep-learning solutions from the device to the cloud.


Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic