Intel Adds New Atom Z5xx CPUs For Embedded Apps

You may not ever hear about these after today, but Intel has launched four new, unique versions of its Atom processor. We know what you're thinking: "Why in the world won't I hear about 'em?" Probably because these are out in the open in the way its N270 and N280 are; instead, these are meant for use in behind-the-scenes type applications. Think  in-car infotainment devices, media phones, eco-technologies and other industrial-strength applications.

The new chips are all meant to serve Intel's flourishing "embedded" business, with each of them falling within the Atom Z5xx series. Now that Intel has a fairly firm grip on the netbook market -- despite counterclaims from the likes of NVIDIA and VIA -- it makes sense that it's trying to get a firm grip on other, less notable segments. Intel is hoping that these new Atom variations will help it blossom in several newer divisions: embedded industries such as automotive in-vehicle infotainment (IVI), industrial control and automation, and media phones.

Doug Davis, vice president, Digital Enterprise Group and general manager, Embedded and Communications Group at Intel, had this to say about the new processors: "With the addition of these new products, we can bring the benefits of Intel processors to new applications, devices and customers who develop products used in unconstrained thermal environments with low-power in mind. anager, Embedded and Communications Group, Intel. "Meeting the needs of embedded environments and new market segments will play a large role in delivering the connectivity and functionality necessary as the number of devices connecting to the embedded Internet is expected to grow to an estimated 15 billion devices by 2015."

Frankly, we're excited to see Intel dabbling in more exotic markets. Even though we'd hate for it be number one in every respect (monopoly, anyone?), we'd love some competition in some of these stagnant sectors. Can you imagine what the likes of Qualcomm would do should Intel get serious about powering smartphones? Our gut tells us we'd like the end result of all that competition.