Intel keeps hold on embedded applications with latest processor

By John Keller
Editor in Chief

Introduction of the Intel Core i7 processor with its built-in floating point processing capability was one of embedded computing's biggest stories in 2010, yet the year 2011 was just a couple of days old when Intelmade another announcement just as significant-the 2nd Generation Intel Core processor family. It's a classic three-for-the-price-of-one story-fixed-point processing, floating-point processing, and graphics processing combined on one device.

This will mean unprecedented levels of systems integration in tight spaces for today's network-centric mil-aero applications, such as wearable computers, unmanned vehicles, unattended sensors, and solder-worn communications systems.

The Intel Core i7 processor, introduced in January 2010, holds fundamental interest for aerospace and defense embedded processing because of its ability to perform floating-point as well as fixed-point calculations. Floating-point capability is particularly useful in sensor- and signal-processing applications, such as radar.

When the Core i7 came out, mil-aero systems engineers were hungry for floating-point capability, which they had found primarily in the Freescale AltiVec architecture. By the time the Core i7 came out, Freescale had discontinued AltiVec capability its latest offerings. Freescale since has re-introduced AltiVec floating-point capability in its QorIQ processors, but the damage has been done. Aerospace and defense embedded processing companies have moved overwhelmingly to the Intel Corearchitecture for applications that need floating-point processing.

Now comes round-two, with Intel's 2nd Generation Intel Core i7, which offers not only floating-point capability, but also graphics processing on the same chip. Today's military and aerospace signal processing applications are becoming ever-more graphics intensive, which makes this processor even more attractive for military embedded processing.

The 2nd Generation Intel Core should open up a new frontier of integration for aerospace and defense applications in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR). The potential to cram brawny image and other sensor-processing hardware on small platforms, like unmanned aerial vehicles, is already getting a lot of interest among major defense prime contractors and embedded computing suppliers.

The day Intel announced the 2nd Generation Intel Core processor family saw an avalanche of new products in the aerospace and defense embedded computing community. Emerson Network Power, GE Intelligent Platforms, Mercury Computer Systems, Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing, Kontron, andExtreme Engineering Solutions (X-ES) were first out the gate with embedded computing products based on the new architecture. Not only that, but LynuxWorks also announced software operating system support for the new chip. More announcements undoubtedly will follow.

Time will only tell how popularthe newest processors will be for military embedded applications. The graphics processing portion of the 2nd Generation Intel Core should be interesting. Graphics applications for aerospace and defense are exploding, and involve radar, sonar,situational awareness, terrain avoidance, unmanned vehicle control, and countless additional uses.

Some experts believe companies like Nvidia, specializing in graphics processors, may have reason to worry over market share in the mil-aero industry with the graphics processing capability of Intel Core processors. Intel and Nvidia chips are likely to be complementary, rather than competitive. High-end graphics processing applications likely will stick with Nvidia, but Intel's new chip may offer graphics capability in applications where none existed before.

More Military & Aerospace Electronics Current Issue Articles
More Military & Aerospace Electronics Archives Issue Articles

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Related Products

CHAMP-FX4 6U OpenVPX Virtex-7 FPGA Processor Card

The CHAMP-FX4 is the flagship 6U product in Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions’ family of user-prog...

PMC-E2001 Audio/Acoustic Waveform Generating PMC Card

PMC-E2001 Delta-sigma PMC features 16-bit resolution with 8 Analog Outputs and 4 Analog Inputs wi...

VPX3-453 3U VPX Virtex-6/8640D Digital Signal Processor

The Curtiss-Wright VPX3-453 is a high performance 3U VPX DSP and FPGA processor card that combine...

SBC-K7 Embedded PC for Instrumentation and Control

The SBC-K7 is an ideal platform for embedded instrumentation that combines an Atom PC running Win...

CPU-PPC460EX-VME Processor Board

The CPU-PPC460EX-VME PowerPC processor board is designed for rugged, conduction and convection co...

PC/104 SBC and Peripherals

Kontron PC/104 Standalone Single Board Computers (SBCs) serve in every format, even with consiste...

General Micro "Horizon" C299

The C299 Horizon is a third generation, 6U cPCI SBC module based on GMS’ upgradable CPU technolog...

Rugged Mobile Communications Server

Advanced communications server designed to be deployed in environments where it needs to meet cer...

RR2P Removable Canister RAID System

Transportable data storage for mobile field use aboard planes, ships and ground transport. 2U, du...

API DC Link Power Film Capacitors

High reliability DC link capacitors for power inverter applications which require superior life e...

Related Companies

Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions

About Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions Curtiss-Wright Defense Solutions (CWDS) is a long established techno...

Innovative Integration

  Since 1988, Innovative Integration has grown to become one of the world's leading suppliers of DSP and data ac...

Beyond Electronics Corp

Beyond Electronics(BEC) provides Rugged COTS board and system level solutions in various small form factor products c...


Driving the world’s embedded computing platforms Kontron is a global leader in embedded computing technology.&n...

General Micro Systems Inc

Since 1979, General Micro Systems has been providing the most diverse line of single-board computers in the industry....

Elma Electronic Inc

Who we are...   About Elma Electronic Systems   The Systems division of Elma Electronic Inc. supplies the

Winchester Systems Inc

At its founding in 1981, Winchester Systems introduced its first 5 MB disk system for Intel development system users....

API Technologies Corp

Who We Are API Technologies is a dominant technology provider of RF/microwave, microelectronics, and security technol...

Extreme Engineering Solutions Inc (X-ES)

 Extreme Engineering Solutions, Inc. (X-ES) is a leader in the design, manufacture, and support of standard and ...

Falcon Electronics

Distributes military, hi-rel and space-grade semiconductors including ARINC 429/1553 databus products, power supplies...
Wire News provided by   

Press Releases

Low Viscosity, One Part Cyanoacrylate Is Non-Toxic and Meets ISO 10993-5 Specifications

Master Bond MB250NT is widely used for a variety of applications ranging from repair to high speed producti...

Thermally Conductive, Two Component Epoxy Passes USP Class VI Tests and ISO 10993-5 Specifications

With biocompatibility and cytotoxicity certifications, Master Bond EP21AOLV-2Med is often selected for bond...

One Component, Snap Cure Epoxy Features High Strength Properties

Suitable for a variety of applications in the electronic, aerospace and OEM industries, Master Bond EP3SP5F...

One Part Epoxy Resists up to 500°F and Meets NASA Low Outgassing Specifications

Master Bond Supreme 12AOHT-LO is a one component epoxy for a variety of bonding and sealing applications in...

VICTORY Shared Processing, Fire Control Computer, and Switch for Ground Vehicles Introduced by Curtiss-Wright

Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division has introduced a new fully i...


Curtiss-Wright Corporation’s Defense Solutions division applauds Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) o...

Curtiss-Wright’s New Rugged Mobile IP Router Subsystem Features an Integrated Cisco® 5915 ESR Router

Curtiss-Wright Corporation today announced that its Defense Solutions division, a Cisco® Systems Solution T...

GE Announces First Sub-Credit Card-Sized Multi-Function High Definition (HD) Video Tracker

HUNTSVILLE, AL.— OCTOBER 13, 2014—GE’s Intelligent Platforms business today announced at AUSA (October 13-...


Meeting the Gen3 backplane challenge with OpenVPX and COTS

Tight Pentagon budgets mean military systems must stay in the field for longer than ever before. This doesn't mean obsolete technology, however. Today's military electronics are being upgraded constantly, an...
Sponsored by:

Design Strategy Considerations for DO-178C Certified Multi-core Systems

Join Wind River to learn how system architecture and design choices can minimize your DO-178C certification challenges.

Sponsored by:

Flying, Sailing or Driving - The Rugged, Embedded Intel-based Server that goes where you need it!Flying Sailing or Driving

Leveraging the power of server-class processors is no longer relegated to the confines of data centers. Through several innovations, Mercury Systems has ruggedized Intel’s server-class chips for deployment. ...
Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors

Mil & Aero Magazine

April 2015
Volume 26, Issue 4

Download Our Apps




Follow Us On...


Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information

Cyber Security

Monthly newsletter covering cyber warfare, cyber security, information warfare, and information security technologies, products, contracts, and procurement opportunities

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles