Intel on Thursday officially launched its offensive into consumer electronics with Paul Otellini, chief executive, introducing its Viiv brand at the industry’s biggest US trade show.
In a speech to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Mr Otellini announced a number of content alliances with media groups around the world to support its push with Viiv into the digital home.
He also unveiled Intel’s Core Duo chip – a processor with two brains that consumes less power and enables cooler and quieter computer-based entertainment centres in the living room.
The Core Duo would be at the centre of Intel’s Centrino Duo processor, offering better performance and battery life along with wireless internet connectivity for notebook PCs, he said.
“With our new platforms, we’re not only boosting wireless computing, but also advancing digital entertainment a few steps closer to effortless. 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.”
The chips for the new Viiv platform are designed to enable high-definition video and surround-sound. Digital home devices have lacked the power, ease of use and content that would appeal to mainstream consumers. The announcement of content partners signalled the PC chipmaker was seeking to cover every base to succeed in its multi-billion dollar gamble to gain market share in consumer electronics. The emphasis is on on-demand delivery of movies, TV, music, games and photos to the home with partners such as AOL, DirecTV, NBC Universal, Turner Broadcasting’s GameTap gaming service and the ESPN sports channel. Grupo Televisa, the largest media company in the Spanish-speaking world, Eros, an Indian film distributor and Shanghai Media of China were named as international partners.
Mr Otellini’s speech keyed in with that of Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman, at CES the previous evening. He said Windows Media Center software, which merges the PC with the TV, was becoming a mainstream volume product and Viiv would be a partner in this growth.