The silicon powering the Google TV technology is a window on Intel's future and an affirmation of its new credo: integrate, integrate, integrate.
The CE4100 is a system-on-a-chip, or SOC, which essentially means all of the various features of a computing device are packed onto one piece of silicon. Intel historically has not focused on this kind of highly-integrated chip, but rather ultra-fast processors designed for PCs and servers.
But designing Intel chips is now becoming an exercise in how many disparate features can be squeezed onto the proverbial head of a pin. In this case, the CE4100 turns a TV into a versatile computing device. "We are transforming TVs from essentially a dumb display device to smart computing device," Eric B. Kim, senior vice president at Intel, said in a phone interview Wednesday.
Intel is not taking its eye off performance, though. "High performance is needed to deal with large screens, multiple streams of high-definition audio and video. Google could not do what they want on today's SOCs," said Kim. "This is not something that you hold in your hand. This is something you plug into the wall," he said, referring to other chip designs that emphasize power saving features over performance. … Read more