Intel's "Tunnel Geek" chip to be used for in-car entertainment

Intel bods have come up with a chip that will power car infotainment systems.

The company has announced it’s latest Intel system-on-chip, lovingly nicknamed “Tunnel Creek”, will be used by HawTai. The Chinese car maker will use the chip inside MeeGo software to provide drivers with a range of entertainment, which could have them rejoicing in traffic jams instead of cursing.

The device that will be first tested out in the automotive company’s Sedan range (well there has to be an incentive to buy one of these) will let drivers download car maintenance updates such as service reminders and diagnostic checks. There will also be entertainment applications such as music, real-time weather and navigation, on-demand from an online store available on the dual-display with enhanced 3D graphics.

Users wanting more for their buck won’t be disappointed, because the list goes on with the ability for drivers to wirelessly port applications and a phone user interface directly from a smart phone into the in-vehicle device display.

Mr. Wang Dian Ming, vice chairman of HawTai Automotive, said at an Intel conference in Beijing: “With an infotainment solution that utilises the Intel Atom processor, we are leveraging the well-established and latest Internet technologies, and re-using existing software that has been developed on MeeGo based Linux platform.”

Those opposed to Sedans as a rule will also be pleased to know they won’t have to force themselves to get a piece of the Tunnel Creek action. Intel also announced that it would be using these in a range of always-on tablet devices,which can serve as a digital photo frame, MP3 player, a standard Web browsing device, a home command centre, and, last but not least, a phone.

But it doesn’t end there: On a separate front, Intel Chief Technology Geek and Labs Director Justin Rattner showed a concept device for managing energy consumption powered by the Atom processor. He suggested the homeowner could use the intelligent electronic dashboard to provide ongoing information and suggestions on energy use, so reducing power costs.

View the video shown at the Intel Developer Forum below.