Intel isn’t happy just putting its chips into every imaginable device. It now wants to help developers sell apps that run on the devices its chip powers, too.
Today at the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco, Intel launched its E600 Atom processor for embedded devices, a category of devices simpler than a traditional computer or smartphone which can include anything from a taxi advertising display to an Internet-connected treadmill.
But Intel isn’t satisfied with just providing chips to run those devices. It’s betting on the connectivity and massive breadth of devices — which include mobile phones, smart TVs and netbooks — that contain Atom processors to woo app developers. AppUp, the app development and distribution platform for Intel’s Atom processing architecture, also launched today into a world already dominated by Google’s Android marketplace and Apple’s App Store.
Intel, in short, is trying to brace itself against a world in which users code to specific devices or operating systems rather than the underlying microprocessor — which is, for Intel, a rather frightening prospect.
So far, the AppUp program has around 450,000 users and 23,000 program members, and offers some incentives for developing top-of-the-line apps. Rick Vanner, the co-founder of Game Creator, won a car for his efforts developing for AppUp.
Intel is partnering with Best Buy, Croma, Dixons Retail and Asus to distribute the AppUp developer platform. Best Buy, one of the largest electronics retailers in the U.S., is providing AppUp on its website and will sell Samsung devices that have AppUp pre-loaded.
Havok, which Intel acquired in 2007, also announced it will be providing its physics engine software-development kit for Atom architecture. The move could be another indicator that Intel is looking to take on Apple, as Apple has recently made a push to improve its gaming presence with its iPod Touch, iPad and iPhone platforms.
Intel also announced a new line of Atom processors for standard mobile platforms, including tablets, mobile phones and embedded devices. The CE 4200 series includes an H.264 encoder and integrated power management — and obviously improves on the last Atom processor’s capabilities. The Oak Trail processor for Tablets also allows for improved battery life and lets users to port an operating system of their choice onto the tablet.