Today I saw the D-Link Boxee Box
I read that it uses an Intel Atom CE4100 SOC (System on a chip).
I did a lot of searching and found tons of PDFs and technical specs from Intel about the SOC itself, but I wanted to know how one goes about actually assembling a custom appliance/system using a chip like this.
Do SoC chips like this even require a general purpose motherboard? Do companies sell motherboards for specific SoCs, or does a company building the appliance have to have their own motherboards or I/O boards designed for such a system?
Does a company generally have to build their tool chain for software development on such a system (I see it's x86 compatible and runs a version of linux behind the scenes, so I guess it's not 100% from scratch)?
I guess I'm just curious about how much of these systems are ready-made and are just pieced-together from prefabricated parts and software, and how much the appliance company actually has to develop in-house, just for my own curiosity about how much work goes into designing custom/single purpose x86 appliances.
Also I couldn't even find wholesale or custom companies in the search engine that even sell these type of chips & parts. Anyone with better google-fu mind sharing some links? I'd just like to see prices and garner other information and see what type of place even sells such a thing.
Any information would be great. Thanks