With the arrival of the Intel® Atom™ processor N2000 and D2000 series (formerly codenamed “Cedar Trail”), developers have an intriguing new option for high-performance, low-power designs. The new parts are the first Intel® Atom™ processors to be fabricated in a 32 nm process, enabling significant improvements in power consumption along with the addition of major new features. Most notably, the graphics engine has been heavily upgraded, giving the new processors up to 4X the 3D graphics performance of their predecessors along with 1080p hardware video decode (see Figure 1).

 

Core Frequency

Graphics Speed

Video decode

TDP

Intel® Atom™ processor N2600

1.60 GHz

400 MHz

Single 1080p

3.5 W

Intel® Atom™ processor N2800

1.86 GHz

640 MHz

Single 1080p

6.5 W

Intel® Atom™ processor D2700

2.1 GHz

640 MHz

Dual 1080p

10 W

Figure 1. Key specifications.

 

Other notable new features include expanded and updated I/O options—including dual-display support—along with Intel® Smart Connect Technology, and Intel® Rapid Start Technology. Intel Smart Connect Technology enables the processor to periodically wake from sleep mode so applications can stay synchronized with the network. Intel® Rapid Start Technology speeds up resume time from deep sleep for an “always-on” feel. Together these technologies can make portable devices like medical tablets more responsive and productive.

 

The Intel Atom processor N2000 and D2000 series primarily targets retail, digital signage, and medical applications, but it useful for a range of embedded applications including industrial, military, and networking.For an overview of how you can use the processors in these applications, check out our recent webinar with Advantech and Portwell. I also recommend the two-part blog series from my colleague Warren Webb. Part 1 reviews the architecture and its benefits, while part 2 looks at sample solutions from the Intel® Embedded Alliance , whose 200-plus members collaborate closely with Intel to create optimized hardware, software, tools, and services to help you speed designs to market.

 

For a deeper dive, you can start with my latest retail market blog, where I provide details on applications including point-of-sale, kiosk, and digital signage. Nexcom also has a detailed post on improving build-to-order operations with digital signage. This thoughtful piece looks at the benefits of signage across a wide range of industries and the techniques you can use to create a successful signage system.

 

Turning to medical applications, my colleague Mark Scantlebury has an interesting post on using the new parts in ultra-small ultrasound applications. Speaking of imaging, Warren Webb also has a detailed post on extending the capabilities of the processor with FPGAs for advanced image processing performance. Last but not least, Portwell has a handy post on Intel Atom processor-based COM Express* modules that explains how these modules can be used in medical, industrial, military, and networking applications.

 

We’ll have even more tech articles on the Intel Atom processor N2000 and D2000 in the Embedded Innovator magazine coming out at the end of this month. Subscribe today and we’ll send you a free copy!

 

The links I’ve listed here only scratch the surface of what the Alliance has to offer. To learn more, see intel.com/go/embeddedalliance

 

Advantech and Portwell are Premier members of the Intel® Embedded Alliance. Nexcom is an Associte member of the Alliance.


Kenton Williston

Roving Reporter (Intel Contractor), Intel® Embedded Alliance

Editor-In-Chief, Embedded Innovator magazine

Follow me on Twitter: @kentonwilliston