New embedded Atom accelerates H.264 encoding

Sandy Bridge isn’t the only Intel chip with special sauce to speed up video encoding. Intel has announced the Atom CE4200, a.k.a. Groveland, a new Atom system-on-chip aimed at embedded consumer electronics applications (just like the existing CE4100, which we may soon see in Google TV devices).

The press announcement on Intel’s IDF website details some of the new features Groveland brings to the table:

The SoC includes 3-D support, H.264 high-definition encoding capability for usage models such as "sync-and-go" between networked consumer electronics and portable devices, and multiple input stream support to enable the design of cost-effective home gateway appliances. To help address regulatory requirements, the SoC features smart power management capabilities that automatically help to turn off parts of the chip when not in use.

Scott, who’s on the scene at IDF, tells me the Atom CE4200 is built on the same 45-nm process technology as the rest of Intel’s Atom lineup.

Intel says ADB, Samsung, Sagemcom and Technicolor all have "set-top boxes" based on this new silicon in the works.

Comments closed
    • Voldenuit
    • 9 years ago

    I’m hoping Boxee switches to Bobcat when it comes out.

      • NeelyCam
      • 9 years ago

      Why?

        • MadManOriginal
        • 9 years ago

        Because then you could slap a big ricer-style AMD fanboi badge on it so that it would at least i[

        • Voldenuit
        • 9 years ago

        Because Bobcat is a hella lot faster than Atom. It’s just the Nehalem comparisons I don’t believe.

          • djgandy
          • 9 years ago

          Bobcat won’t even come close to the power levels of this chip.

            • Voldenuit
            • 9 years ago

            That’s alright. For a set top box that will handle HD video, web (including Flash) and simple apps, I’d prefer a decent experience with a CPU+GPU at 9W than something that’s “only” 4-5W but feels like I’m wallowing in molasses.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 9 years ago

            So you know what the user experience is like on a device that’s using aprocessor that isn’t even out yet? Neat!

            • BlackStar
            • 9 years ago

            It’s called ‘extrapolation’. Look it up.

            • Voldenuit
            • 9 years ago

            No guessing required. Every major tech publication is saying (some with hands on – albeit vendor “controlled” – testing) that Bobcat will be miles faster than Atom.

            If the systems were limited to a purely controlled software and OS environment, I’m sure that either manufacturer could optimize performance to where it’s ‘good enough’ for general consumption. But the presence of 3rd party apps (as intel is pushing), and 3rd party Flash sites (if implemented) that are most likely going to be unoptimized for embedded systems means that power users are going to venture out of the happy little sandbox the OEMs want us to stick to. So yes, I’d gladly take the extra horsepower, thank you very much.

            It doesn’t help that I’ve yet to use an Atom device (whether Linux or Windows powered) that felt anything close to “snappy”.

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            dudes. are we seriously arguing about 4 watts on a chip that is KNOWN to be quite a bit faster? come on. this is a moot argument. probably all of you would rather the bobcat. stop being smelly

            • MadManOriginal
            • 9 years ago

            In a CE device? No, I don’t really give a rat’s ass what’s under the hood of a CE device when the guts are ‘invisible’ to doing the job. The software layer abstracts interfacing with what’s under the hood…I don’t ‘use a CPU’ I ‘use a program that uses the CPU.’

            • MadManOriginal
            • 9 years ago

            1) Have you used the Atom CE4200 to which this article refers? No.

            2) Have you used the type of device for which it’s targeted and mentioned in this article? If so, see question 1)

            I am not saying that the Bobcat is not faster, I’m simply saying that ‘faster than fast enough to do the job well anyway’ is irrelevant.

            • djgandy
            • 9 years ago

            Atom is has plenty of guts for a STB. Power consumption is VERY important in embedded markets. Also this atom chip has hd encode and decode, the core requirement for a STB, not flash as you appear to think.

    • UberGerbil
    • 9 years ago

    Atom finally going into the products for which it was (more or less) originally conceived.

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