Digital Nerd

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Intel Will Bring Its Chips to Entertainment Media

Via NYT:

Trying to repeat the success of its Centrino brand for notebook computers, the chip maker Intel said Wednesday that it would introduce a set of technologies designed specifically for entertainment PC's.

Computers carrying an "Intel Viiv" sticker will feature the chip maker's microprocessors along with other Intel hardware and software. Viiv systems will ship early next year, with a remote control.

"Intel Viiv technology is our first platform designed from the ground up for the digital home," said Don MacDonald, general manager of Intel Digital Home Group.

Intel, which is the world's largest chip maker, undertook a similar strategy of combining multiple chips into a single platform with Centrino, which includes an energy-efficient processor, chip set and wireless hardware.

Intel backed up Centrino's introduction in 2003 with a $300 million marketing campaign. Since then, the company's share of the notebook chip market has grown steadily.

It was not clear whether Intel would commit the same resources to Viiv (rhymes with five). The company also did not disclose the names of companies that would offer the PC's or how much of a subsidy they would receive as an incentive to participate.

Intel recently introduced a computer platform for businesses, and its offering in the area of entertainment PC's had been expected.

PC and software makers see the living room as a huge growth opportunity as more entertainment becomes digitized and consumers look for ways to better manage their music, video, photos, movies and television shows.

Viiv-based computers are expected to be available in a variety of forms, ranging from the size of a stereo system component to a more traditional PC tower. All will run the Windows Media Center operating system from Microsoft .

Viiv systems will include a configuration wizard to walk users through setting up network components using a remote control.


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