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Intel Announces a Developer Program for Atom Platform

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Intel is looking to build a developer community around its Atom processor.  At the Intel Developer Sept. 22, CEO Paul Otellini introduced the Atom Developer Program, aimed at enabling ISVs to create and sell applications for netbooks based on the Atom chip.

Support for handheld devices and smartphones will come in the future, Otellini said.

The program will offer development tools, tech support and SDKs (software development kits) to developers, and also will give ISVs a storefront through which they can sell their applications, he said.

Acer, Asustek Computer and Dell have signed on to support the program, and Otellini said he expects more to join.

Intel introduced Atom in March 2008 with the idea of driving the Intel architecture down into lower-power devices. It's a key part of Intel's push to move beyond its PC and server roots, and to make IA a ubiquitous platform for everything from the smallest Internet-connected device to the most powerful supercomputer.

That transition is what Otellini referred to as a continuum of IA across the technology field.

Intel already has taken steps to extend Atom's reach. In March, Intel announced a partnership with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing, with Intel porting the Atom CPU to TSCM's technology platforms.

The netbook space, which Intel has been pushing through its Atom products, is limited by the fact that few applications have been built for the devices' small size. Making it easier for developers to build and sell their applications for Atom-based devices will help increase the reach of the chip platform, according to Intel officials.

Intel is looking to open up Atom to as wide a field as possible, with support for a variety of operating systems and run-time environments. Adobe (Flash) and Microsoft (Silverlight) will port their run-time environments to the Atom platform, according to Intel. JavaFX is expected to be ported at a later date.

The Atom Processor Developer Program SDKs will be available later in the fall, though membership applications are being accepted now. For more information, developers can go here.

Published at DZone with permission of its author, Justin Sargent.

(Note: Opinions expressed in this article and its replies are the opinions of their respective authors and not those of DZone, Inc.)



Mike P(Okidoky) replied on Wed, 2009/09/23 - 11:19am

I don't get it. From this article I was assuming there would be a way to code special instructions for this Atom processor to let me get better performance out of it. But perusing throught docs, I'm not seeing any access to the micro-ops.

What's the point of all this? How does it let Adobe create a 'better' flash player, and secondly, how on earth would it be possible to make a special JavaFX version for the Atom processor, given that JavaFX is written in Java on the JVM. Will the JVM take advantage of these alleged special instructions or something?

*very confused*

Justin Sargent replied on Wed, 2009/09/23 - 6:38pm in response to: Mike P(Okidoky)

It's really hard to say right now with very little technicle detials being released but that is what Intel has told the press.


Knowing intels track record I'm sure they are creating something benificial, from what I understand it is mainly a way to work with smaller processers... very high-level answer but I assume they will provide a way to make netbooks apps and also offer a marketplace to sell them.

 As always, once more details become avaible I will be sure to report on them.

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