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Intel's Tunnel Creek meanders into homes

Intel is talking up its 'Tunnel Creek' Atom processor in Beijing, leaping onto the tablet bandwagon by positing the chip in a tablet-style device it calls a media phone.

Doug Davis, corporate vice president and general manager of Intel's embedded and communications group, told the Intel Developer Forum in Beijing that Tunnel Creek would be targeted at home-use tablets and in-vehicle systems.

Tunnel Creek is based on Intel's Moorestown system-on-a-chip Atom, combining an Atom core with memory controller, and graphics and video engines. The chip is designed to work across a variety of devices and with many different chipsets, but is too power-hungry to slip into a viable smartphone.

Intel's 'media phones', will be tethered to the home, within reach of a plug socket. Intel sees the device as providing a regular browser, with the ability to be web-cam, digital photo frame, MP3 player, or home security centre, as well as being a regular voice-based phone.

The Tunnel Creek chip will also have its graphics capabilities enhanced. Davis suggested the example of an in-car system run on the chip that runs two screens, one navigation screen in the front for the driver, in the back for the kids to play games on.