Embedded Internet

IDF Fall 2008 - Intel's embedded Internet vision will see the number of connected devices rise exponentially over the coming years.

Pat Gelsinger was keen to talk about the embedded Internet, which basically seemed to mean having Internet access no matter where you may be, or what you may be doing. It came as no surprise that Gelsinger cited Atom as a big step in the right direction, when it comes to realising his embedded Internet dream. So sure is Gelsinger of his pervasive embedded Internet vision that he predicted 15 billion always on Internet devices by 2015.

Key to Gelsinger’s vision is the new generation of devices based on the Atom platform. There’s no denying that the netbook has become something of a phenomenon over the past few months, and has brought mobile productivity and Internet access to many who couldn’t previously afford it. Intel would also have us believe that the MID will have a similar impact once manufacturers bring products to market.

But it’s not just devices that you carry around with you that count towards the embedded Internet. Gelsinger also showed off an Internet connected home telephone, which offered full web functionality as well as voice communication. According to the creators of this home IP phone, it could not exist before the launch of the Atom platform.

Gelsinger also rolled out Alex Busch, from the Information and Communication Systems department at BMW, who consequently rolled out a BMW 3 Series convertible. Built into the car was a fully connected entertainment and navigation system based on Atom. The system was (as is usually the case with Intel demos of this type) connected to the Internet via WiMAX, making for high speed access while the car is stationary or mobile. BMW told me that it was working on a system like this when I visited its HQ in Germany a couple of months ago, so I guess their engineers have been beavering away.

What Gelsinger didn’t mention was the Media Processor CE 3100, which to my mind is the biggest leap in embedded technology. In fact the CE 3100 is probably the most exciting announcement that Intel has made this IDF, and will definitely help Gelsinger hit his 15 billion device target.

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