Nissan Infotainment Will Have Intel Inside
Chipmaker’s Atom processor will power next-generation Nissan and Infiniti systems.
Intel representatives were at the 2012 New York International Auto Show last week to announce that the chip giant Atom's processor will power Nissan infotainment systems in some 2013 vehicles. Intel, which also struck a deal with Toyota late last year and supplies Atom processors to BMW and Mercedes-Benz, is looking to make further inroads into car technology. The company also recently announced a $100 million investment fund to feed auto-infotainment development and growth.
We sat down with Ton Steenman, vice president of intelligent systems at Intel, in the Infiniti stand at the New York show to talk tech. Steenman pointed out that with deep roots in processing as well as mobile communications, Intel is well-positioned to partner with automakers as the connected car takes off.
Under the terms of the Nissan/Intel deal, Steenman said the two companies will conduct R&D to explore the connection between cars and consumer electronics, including mobile device-to-vehicle links, cloud services and video surveillance via smartphone -- so you could see who dinged your door, for example.
As other automakers -- including Ford, with Sync, and Toyota, with Entune -- have made connectivity and infotainment key selling points, Nissan has been slow on the car-tech uptake and is hoping the partnership with Intel will give the automaker a boost.
Nissan has yet to decide which models will get Intel chips and the next-generation infotainment systems they power. The Atom chip will make its debut in a single-screen/dual-display infotainment system in the Infiniti LE, a zero-emissions electric concept that made its debut at the New York show.
Like the Splitview screen from Mercedes-Benz, Infiniti’s double-vision display shows system info and navigation maps to the driver while allowing the front-seat passenger to watch, say, video entertainment on the same screen. But Mercedes-Benz’s Splitview screen has been somewhat stymied by state laws that forbid such displays in the dashboard, regardless of how they work.
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