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Mobile, Retail, and In-Home Entertainment

Intel brings the consumer world innovative technology for mobile-Internet devices, retail kiosks, and television.

By Nicole Freeman, Contributing Editor

With the Mobile World Congress wrapping up in February, Intel and its ecosystem came out ahead with announcements that will bring handset manufacturers, software developers, and the chipmaker closer together. The resulting products will spawn a strong new device for the smartphone arena, which promises speed, ease-of-use, and longevity in a constantly changing technology arena.

Specifically, Intel announced a collaboration with LG Electronics in which the handset maker would develop enhanced mobile-Internet devices based on Intel’s Moorestown mobile hardware platform and Linux-based Moblin v2.0 software platform. The new LG device will be one of the first Moorestown designs to hit the insatiable and forward-thinking mobile consumer market.

The Moorestown second-generation platform comprises a system-on-a-chip or SoC (codenamed “Lincroft”) that integrates a 45-nm Intel® Atom™ processor core with a graphics, video, and memory controller. The platform also includes an I/O hub (codenamed “Langwell”) that includes a range of I/O blocks and supports wireless solutions.

Intel’s Moorestown-based devices are designed to reduce idle power consumption by a factor of more than 10 versus current Intel Atom processor-based mobile-Internet devices. Additionally, the Moorestown platform will be accompanied by a newer Linux-based Moblin software version. That software is designed specifically to deliver a PC-like Internet experience while supporting mobile-phone voice capabilities. The Moorestown platform is expected to come to market by 2010.

The Future Of Retail: It’s All In The Kiosk

With an eye toward enticing retail consumers back into stores and saving retailers a bit in operating expenses, Intel headed to the National Retail Federation Convention this winter with an innovative in-store concept. Keen to demonstrate how technology can enhance rather than detract from the retail shopping experience, Intel revealed its sleek, futuristic digital signage and point-of-sale kiosk (see Figure 1).

As consumer shopping preferences shift to a self-service model—driven in large part by the e-commerce experience—the Intel kiosk includes many of the advantages of Internet shopping, such as real-time inventory access, promotional offers, expanded product details, and community reviews (see Figure 2).

Figure 1: Intel’s sleek, futuristic digital signage and point-of-sale kiosk demonstrate how technology can enhance rather than detract from the retail shopping experience.

Figure 2: The kiosk includes many of the advantages of Internet shopping including real-time inventory access, promotional offers, expanded product details, and community reviews.

The kiosk demo is based on Intel’s high-performance, energyefficient, 45-nm Intel® Core™2 Duo mobile processor, which is currently powering millions of laptops and PCs. The chipset marks an upgrade from previous point-of-service platforms, as the Intel Core2 Duo processor reduces power consumption by 70% over older systems. At the same time, it vows to provide double the raw processing power. Lowering power consumption is just another way to save money while going green.

The platform also features Intel® vPro™ technology with Intel® Active Management Technology, which helps lower maintenance costs, improve power management, and provide retailers with security options like system diagnosis. Additionally, Intel vPro technology lets system administrators manage the kiosks remotely, making it possible to power down systems overnight to increase energy savings and reduce the need for technicians to go on-site for system maintenance.

The concept system supports a modular design that facilitates easy upgrades to a next-generation CPU. The kiosk includes a customizable, removable PC board and individual modules that can be added, removed, interchanged, or replaced to meet evolving business needs (see Figure 3).

Figure 3: The kiosk includes a customizable, removable PC board and individual modules to meet evolving business needs.

Optimizing Flash Brings The Web To TV

Intel and Adobe are teaming up to bring the power of the Internet to TV. The collaboration is focused on porting and optimizing Adobe Flash technology for the Intel® CE3100 media processor (see Figure 4). The challenge of bringing the Internet to television is in giving consumers a more seamless Internet-based experience. That experience will enhance the entertainment coming through advanced Intel® technology-based set-top boxes, Blu-ray players, digital-TV boxes, and other connected retail products.

Figure 4: The Intel® CE3100 media processor optimizes Adobe Flash.

The high-definition capabilities of the Flash platform will be combined with the CE3100 to create a new family of Intel® SoCs for CE devices. Those SoCs, in turn, will create a powerful hub that can deliver Web content and Flash-based applications to a variety of Internet-connected CE devices. The collaboration includes a plan to optimize both the Flash player and Flash Lite for the CE3100. Intel plans to ship the first CE3100 with support for an optimized implementation of Flash Lite before mid-year.

Nicole Freeman is a freelance writer and editor who reports on the semiconductor, on-demand, and consumer technology industries. She is currently a senior editor for AlwaysOn Network (www.alwayson-network.com) and runs the On- Demand channel, which focuses on disruptive, open-source technology innovations.