ieds 9 Intel talks Intelligent Systems at IEDS Taipei

Mention embedded computing and most people either leaves the room or start yawning and this is something Intel apparently have picked up on, as the company as re-named its embedded computing division to Intel Intelligent Systems. We spent a day at the Intel Embedded Developer Summit in Taipei and found out that the company is busy trying to make embedded computing sexy.

Mention embedded computing and most people either leaves the room or start yawning and this is something Intel apparently have picked up on, as the company as re-named its embedded computing division to Intel Intelligent Systems. We spent a day at the Intel Embedded Developer Summit in Taipei and found out that the company is busy trying to make embedded computing sexy.

When most of us think about embedded computing, we think about industrial PC's and antiquated motherboards and possibly expensive, yet out dated hardware. However, this is quickly changing as the embedded market is evolving and moving towards more advanced solutions and we're now seeing cutting edge hardware in many embedded systems. Intel is of course pushing its Atom processors heavily into this market space, as they're low power and can often be equipped with passive cooling. That said, the company is also busy pushing its Sandy Bridge processors into this market space and there were a few demos as the show that explained why.

ieds 1 Intel talks Intelligent Systems at IEDS Taipei

We should also take the opportunity here to clear up a misunderstanding here with regards to Intel's Digital Home Group. Although the DHG has been merged with the tablet group, Intel didn't communicate what was going on in a clear manner. Intel has indeed pulled its Atom CE 4000-series of SoC's out of the retail product market and as such products like Google TV and the Boxeebox won't be getting any competitors on the retail shelf. However, Intel is actively pursuing the IPTV and Cable TV market space with its CE 4000-series of Atom SoC's.

ieds 3 Intel talks Intelligent Systems at IEDS Taipei

In fact, Intel is making a big push into the IPTV and Cable TV market and is working closely with several service providers not only on the hardware side to create devices that consumers won't be ashamed to have in their homes, but also on the software side to allow the set top box makers to build software platforms that are future proof, upgradable and expandable.

ieds 2 Intel talks Intelligent Systems at IEDS Taipei

Swedish telecom company Ericsson was on location at IEDS as well and they're one of the bigger players out there when it comes to delivering the connectivity between the service providers and the end users. Ericsson was keen to point out that consumer's wants easy to use hardware where they don't have to sit down and read manuals to work out how to get the most out of their set top box, but they also want a lot of functionally and are in fact willing to pay for it. They didn't specifically promote Intel's solution, but hinted at the fact that offering hardware that can be easily upgraded instead of using custom made solutions for each generation of set top boxes would overall offer a better customer experience.

ieds 4 Intel talks Intelligent Systems at IEDS Taipei

Not only set top boxes were on display of course, Intel also had several other partner demos and some of its own. One that caught our eye was an augmented reality demo that was done together with Lego. Although Intel and Lego has shown off similar demos before, the ones we've seen on YouTube in the past have been of simpler Lego toys, while the demo at IEDS consisted of a couple of Lego Technics products where you could actually interact with the demo and one of the Lego kits could show at least two different trucks you could build out of the kit.

ieds 5 Intel talks Intelligent Systems at IEDS Taipei

Other products on display included a rather nifty patient hospital all-in-one PC which doubled up as a TV, a streaming video player, meal ordering system, phone and maybe most importantly, a means for the doctor to easily access the patients records. Some other rather peculiar products on display included a set top box from Tatung with Intel WiDi, i.e. video streaming over Wi-Fi to the TV. We're not sure how much sense this makes, unless it's possible to stream to another room. There was also a company showing off an Atom powered car "stereo" which will of course handle video playback, navigation and a wide range of other things such as optional internet access and what not.

ieds 6 Intel talks Intelligent Systems at IEDS Taipei

ieds 7 Intel talks Intelligent Systems at IEDS Taipei

ieds 8 Intel talks Intelligent Systems at IEDS Taipei

Finally a rather unusual product was on display by a Malaysian company called Pradotec, an Atom Z510 powered portable ePassport terminal. The HPT600 as it's known as is a one of a kind product so far that has been designed for border controls around the world and it allows passports to be easily scanned without the need of a larger PC. It also sports a wide range of wireless and wired connectivity options, a 5-inch LCD screen, a GPS unit, USB 2.0 ports, a keyboard and even an optional fingerprint scanner.

ieds 9 Intel talks Intelligent Systems at IEDS Taipei

A wide range of other more traditional embedded computing products were also on display, but we wanted to show off a few that were more in line with Intel's new Intelligent Systems name. In fact, Intel is expecting there to be around 15 billion “intelligent connected devices” out there by 2015, which is computers that can somehow interact with each other without any need for user input. These 15 billion devices are expected to create 35 trillion gigabytes of data by 2020 and this doesn't even take us humans into account. Embedded computing is changing and although it still has a long way to go before it becomes what we'd call sexy technology that people care about, more and more of us are likely to end up with some embedded technology in our homes sooner or later, if we don't already have some.