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MeeGo and Intel Atom to power next-gen car stereos

Windows-based in-car entertainment systems are fairly common these days, but a Linux operating system, backed by Intel Atom chips could soon get a slice of the automotive action


Windows-based in-car entertainment systems give us the heebie-jeebies -- Blue Screen of Death might be rather too literal -- so we're delighted to see that a Linux operating system, backed by Intel Atom chips, could soon get a crack at the automotive action. Genivi, a car-industry alliance including BMW, Intel and Nokia, has chosen the MeeGo Linux OS and -- by proxy -- Intel Atom CPUs as the basis for its forthcoming In-Vehicle Infotainment (IVI) system.

MeeGo, for those who don't rock beards and sandals, is an operating system that came about when Intel and Nokia locked its half-finished Moblin and Maemo OSes in a room, turned on some R Kelly and switched the lights out. This geeky coupling led to a more complete platform that, in theory, will be deployed in smart phones, netbooks, tablet PCs, TVs and -- now Genivi is on board -- cars.

We've no specific information as to what sorts of car-related gadgetry MeeGo will be used for, but we can have an educated guess. Intel's been yammering about how it wants Atom chips used in cars for ages now, and has touted navigation, rear-seat entertainment, internal and external communications, radio and CD playback as well as location-based services.

So which carmakers will use this new-fangled IVI system? Given that BMW and PSA Peugeot Citroen are both members of the Genivi alliance, it's safe to assume their vehicles will be the first to feature a marriage of MeeGo software and Intel hardware.

We'll have more on this story as it unfolds.