Second-generation Intel Core processor announcement triggers an avalanche of new embedded computing products

By John Keller

Posted by John Keller

It was like an avalanche this afternoon in the embedded computing community, touched off by Intel's announcement of its 2nd Generation Intel Core processor family at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. These new chips have processor graphics built in, which promises to offer a new dimension in size and capability for today's graphics-heavy aerospace and defense systems.

What Intel is saying is the new Core processor family, which has popularly been known as "Sandy Bridge," will power more than 500 desktop and laptop PCs expected from major suppliers this year. Judging from the flood of announcements from embedded computing suppliers, however, the single-board computer industry is pouncing on this new technology, as well.

Emerson Network Power , GE Intelligent Platforms , Mercury Computer Systems , Curtiss-Wright Controls Embedded Computing , Kontron , and Extreme Engineering Solutions (X-ES) were first out the gate with new embedded computing products based on the second-generation Intel Core processors. Not only that, but LynuxWorks also is announcing software operating system support for the new chip. Many other announcements should be expected to follow.

With the 2nd Generation Intel Core processor family's built-in graphics processing capability, companies like NVIDIA, which specialize in graphics processors, may have reason to worry over their market share in the aerospace and defense industry.

Moreover, a CPU that combines the floating-point processing capability of the Intel Core i7 with graphics processing 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 should get a lot of interest among major defense prime contractors and embedded computing suppliers.

We'll get to detailing all the new embedded computing products based on the 2nd Generation Intel Core processor family over the next several days.

The Intel Core i7 processor with its floating point capability was one of the biggest stories covered by Military & Aerospace Electronics in 2010. This year the second generation of this processor should have an equally big impact.

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The Mil & Aero Bloggers

John Keller is editor-in-chief of Military & Aerospace Electronics magazine, which provides extensive coverage and analysis of enabling electronic and optoelectronic technologies in military, space, and commercial aviation applications. A member of the Military & Aerospace Electronics staff since the magazine's founding in 1989, Mr. Keller took over as chief editor in 1995.

Ernesto Burden is the publisher of PennWell’s Aerospace & Defense Media Group, including Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence and Avionics Europe.  He’s a father of four, a runner, and an avid digital media enthusiast with a deep background in the intersection of media publishing, digital technology, and social media. He can be reached at ernestob@pennwell.com and on Twitter @aero_ernesto.

Courtney E. Howard, as executive editor, enjoys writing about all things electronics and avionics in PennWell’s burgeoning Aerospace and Defense Group, which encompasses Military & Aerospace Electronics, Avionics Intelligence, the Avionics Europe conference, and much more. She’s also a self-proclaimed social-media maven, mil-aero nerd, and avid avionics geek. Connect with Courtney at Courtney@Pennwell.com, @coho on Twitter, and on LinkedIn.

Mil & Aero Magazine

February 2014
Volume 25, Issue 2
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