Intel has thrown itself at the entertainment market with a series of announcements surrounding its new "Viiv" technology brand.
Intel CEO Paul Otellini used his keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas yesterday to, among other things, launch new notebooks and Viiv home entertainment PCs.
The computers came with a wide range of signed deals. With Google for video search; with ESPN for sport; with Shanghai Media for the Chinese market; with NBC for the WinterOlympics; with AOL; with MTV; and with numerous assorted others.
All that was left was the names of the chips that make up the new Centrino package. Yonah, the former codename for Intel's first dual-core version of the Pentium M processor, is now known as Core Duo. This chip will provide the basis for all of Intel's processors starting later this year when the company introduces new chips based on the low-speed but high-performance design principles used to create the Pentium M.
"The Core Duo is our first new premium brand since Pentium," Otellini said. It will be used in desktops, notebooks, and eventually handheld devices, he said. As with the earlier versions of Centrino, the Centrino Duo package will feature a Core Duo, a mobile optimized chipset, and an upgraded wireless.
Just about every major PC vendor, including Dell, HP, Lenovo, Gateway, Sony, Samsung and others plan to have Centrino Duo notebooks available shortly.
The previous hype built up around the Viiv technology was given weight by the content deals. Intel and DirectTV plan to develop a set-top box that can receive content from DirectTV's satellites sometime in 2006. AOL's thousands of music videos, vintage television shows, and sports highlights will also be available to users who buy Viiv PCs.
NBC plans to make video clips of the upcoming Olympic Games in Italy available to Viiv users through an NBC website. And so on. The content will be available through a interface on the Viiv PC jointly developed by Intel and Microsoft.
Intel's vision of the digital home has taken several twists and turns since Otellini first unveiled the concept of the entertainment PC at the 2004 CES. But it is finally coming together with powerful new chips and alliances with global content companies, he said. "A test of good technology is once you use it, you can't go back," Otellini said. Viiv PCs will start to appear on store shelves and on websites over the next few days.