The nexus between technology and content was apparent at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
One is driving the other and it is arguably no less displayed at the presentation by Intel CEO Paul Otellini. Key pointers from his address are the growing importance of mobility and the marriage of technology and content.
StarBiz assistant news editor JAGDEV SINGH SIDHU also reports on the new direction Intel is taking in developing its products and services.
THE Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is about new technology and, in that respect, Intel Corp had a treat for consumers and the industry.
CEO Paul Otellini unveiled two platforms and several content alliances in his keynote address at the CES. They are the new high–performance, low–power Intel Core Duo processor for the Centrino and Intel's Viiv technology that will provide the foundation for new experiences in wireless laptops and digital entertainment.
He also announced several commitments for the Intel Viiv technology from top US and international entertainment companies, including AOL, DIRECTV, NBC Universal, Turner Broadcasting’s GameTap, ESPN, Televisa and Eros.
ClickStar, a joint venture between Intel and Revelations Entertainment, plans to offer first-run, pre-DVD-release films and artist-created entertainment channels through the Viiv technology as part of its online services.
The Centrino Duo mobile technology is a big move by Intel at a time when sales of notebooks in the US have surpassed that of desktops. Further appealing characteristics of the new microprocessor are that the Intel Centrino Duo mobile technology improves performance significantly and battery life for the wireless laptop market segment.
The new architecture of the Intel Core Duo processor will also allow hardware manufacturers to maintain a sleek form factor of their products, be it for entertainment PCs, or notebooks.
“With our new platforms, we’re not only boosting wireless computing, but also advancing digital entertainment a few steps closer to being effortless,” said Otellini.
“Just as we enabled exciting new norms with wireless broadband laptops, we’re working with computer, CE and entertainment companies to make home entertainment easier. Our unique processors, tailored platform features and joint work with these industries exemplify our push to advance on–demand delivery of movies, TV, music, games and photos to any home on virtually any screen.”
Comparisons with the Centrino Solo show the usefulness and speed of the Core Duo processors, especially in the latest graphic intensive games and multitasking.
Anticipating a big jump in demand for the Centrino Duo, Intel plans to ship out its millionth Core Duo in three weeks after the launch of the new chip. The ramp-up in production is impressive, given that Intel took one year to deliver its millionth Pentium chip.
While better technology improves performance and productivity, the importance of content is, nonetheless, becoming increasingly vital to the tech industry.
One reason is that, in the words of Otellini, online content has exploded.
In 2005, there were twice as many Internet video download streams as there were in 2004, and 21 billion Internet stream videos in 2005.
“But despite all this, what consumers really have today is an Internet video experience that's largely experienced from a chair in front of a computer at a distance of two or three feet,'' he said.
“What I think consumers really want, and what they tell us they want is online content on that big screen in their living room, in their bedroom, from the couch, or sitting on the bed.''
Integrating PC capabilities with the Internet experience has led to Intel introducing its Viiv technology, which is a technology–based entertainment PC that will help people download, store, view, manage and share all kinds of digital entertainment and information on a choice of TV, PC, laptop and hand–held viewing screens.
Intel Viiv (rhymes with “five”) technology includes a suite of Intel–based hardware and software that, along with Microsoft Windows XP Media Centre Edition 2005, will be based on choice of Intel Pentium D, Pentium Processor Extreme Edition and Intel Core Duo processors. PCs based on the platform will have a variety of entertainment options, including support for both a minimum of 5.1 or higher surround sound and high–definition video. Systems may also instantly turn on and off with the touch of a button (when enabled, after initial boot) and could be used with TV–like remote controls when included in the system or purchased separately.
Later this year, the platform will add features that will simplify the set–up of a home network and the ability to transfer digital content from the PC to other devices.
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