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Unified Platform & Ecosystem Key To Digital Home

News Release

Intel Sees Unified Platform And Ecosystem
As Key To Enabling The Digital Home

AUCKLAND, Wednesday February 18, 2004 – Delivering a valued experience for the digital home that keeps consumers connected everywhere they go will depend on the ability to create a unified platform and a surrounding ecosystem of support, in addition to specific new consumer-focused technologies, according to Louis Burns, Intel vice president and general manager of the Desktop Platforms Group.

Speaking today at the Intel Developer Forum (San Francisco - US), Burns said the computing, consumer electronics and communications industries are merging to become one and that this new converged industry must deliver unified solutions focused around three consumer imperatives.

“First, we must make the whole experience simple,” Burns said. “Devices have to work right out of the box. They have to be easy to set up, easy to turn on and off, easy to operate, and easy to access. Secondly, consumers want all their devices to connect and communicate wirelessly. Cable clutter and multiple remotes just won’t cut it. Finally, content delivery must be a high-quality audio and video experience. Consumers want premium quality for their premium content.

“Our goal must be to provide a complete and satisfying experience in the digital home that consumers will value and pay for,” he said. Burns also said that the digital home is about much more than entertainment.

“When we hear the phrase ‘digital home,’ we automatically think about entertainment, but the digital home goes way beyond entertainment and far beyond a home’s four walls,” he said. “What the digital home really means is access to your content any time, anywhere and on any device for entertainment, as well as for learning, personal productivity and communicating.”


Research-Based Technologies for the Digital Home
Intel’s investment in research and development during the recent economic downturn and its commitment to ongoing manufacturing and process innovation has given the company a strong pipeline of technologies to enable a unified platform for the digital home. Key among these new technologies is Intel’s new Pentium® 4 processor built on 90nm (formerly Prescott), which is available now, and an upcoming chipset code-named “Grantsdale,” which will be available in the second quarter of this year.

Developed for the mainstream consumer market segment, Grantsdale will include next generation integrated graphics optimised for high-definition video and dual independent display technology that allows independent images to be delivered to two different displays.

Grantsdale and Alderwood (an enthusiast chipset) will be the first PC client chipsets to feature DDR2 memory. This technology will provide higher bandwidth and cooler temperatures for all types of PCs, including Entertainment PCs and notebooks.

Grantsdale will also feature PCI Express, a new, higher bandwidth bus technology, and an integrated wireless access point, eliminating the need for consumers to set up and configure a separate wireless home network. Intel® High Definition Audio, formerly codenamed Azalia, will be built into the Pentium 4 Processor, Grantsdale platform to provide full Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound* for an outstanding home theater experience. At IDF, Intel and Dolby Laboratories announced they are working together to extend the CE sound and entertainment experience to the PC based on Intel High Definition Audio.


Unified Platforms for the Digital Home
In addition to the chipset building blocks, Intel is working with other industry leaders to develop unified platform designs for the digital home. An outcome of this collaboration is a platform code-named “Kessler.” Based on the Pentium 4 processor and Grantsdale running
Windows XP Media Center Edition*, Kessler is an example of an Entertainment PC, a slim form factor, high-performance PC connected to a television screen. Entertainment PCs can be used to organise, consume and enjoy digital content such as music, movies, TV programming, gaming and high-definition video.
The device will be capable of sharing content wirelessly and operated with a remote control instead of a keyboard. It will include a built-in TV tuner, DVD player and Personal Video Recorder (PVR) and be capable of acting as a digital media adapter.

“The Kessler platform simplifies the digital home by integrating a whole rack of multiple devices into a single unit,” Burns said.

The Kessler Consumer Enthusiast platform from Innovation Alliance member FIC is an example of the industry support for the Entertainment PC concept. The platform will be available to PC manufacturers through FIC this year.

A prototype reference design from Intel code-named “Sandow” features further technology innovations such as “instant on/visually off” capability and an HDTV PVR. It should be available in 2005.

In addition to developing platforms, Intel is working with hardware, software and content and service companies to enable the complete ecosystem required to deliver on the promise of the digital home. In order to help the industry develop consumer products that work together better, Intel announced the first building block products validated for the Intel® Networked Media Product Requirements (Intel® NMPR). The Intel NMPR-validated middleware solutions available from BridgeCo, icube, Mediabolic and Oregan Networks, will enable device manufacturers to deliver interoperable consumer products in the coming months.

Intel has also been working with content and service companies to extend their services beyond the PC to other devices around the home. Intel is developing a digital home content program and guidelines to help software vendors and content providers so that consumers will be able to move content between Intel NMPR-connected devices.

Through the $US200 million Intel Digital Home Fund, Intel is also investing in companies developing hardware and software, as well as connectivity and supporting technologies.

To enable the availability of the premium content for the digital home, Intel and Movielink today announced they have signed a co-marketing and technology collaboration
agreement designed to accelerate the deployment of premium online movie content to multiple devices in the home as well as mobile PCs.

To bring the device and Web services worlds together, Burns announced that BEA Systems, Canon Inc., Intel and Microsoft Corporation have published a new Web services specification called WS-Discovery. With WS-Discovery, the companies are taking an important step toward enabling a rich and diverse set of devices to become fully integrated with Web services. Burns said WS-Discovery will operate whenever a device is connected to a network, leaves a network or is looking to see what else is on a network.

About IDF

The Intel Developer Forum is the technology industry's premier event for hardware and software developers. Held worldwide throughout the year, IDF brings together key industry players to discuss cutting-edge technology and products for PCs, servers, communications equipment, and handheld clients. For more information on IDF and Intel technology, visit http://developer.intel.com.

Intel, the world’s largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com/pressroom

*Intel and Pentium are registered trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the United States and other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.


ENDS

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