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Last Updated: Friday, 6 January 2006, 04:06 GMT
Intel eyes entertainment market
By Alfred Hermida
Technology editor, BBC News website in Las Vegas

Intel boss Paul Otellini
Otellini wants to provide a one-stop shop for entertainment
The chip giant Intel has made its pitch to be at the heart of digital entertainment with its Viiv technology.

Viiv is Intel's bid to convert PCs into home entertainment hubs and make it easier to play video, music and other content on a variety of gadgets.

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Intel unveiled deals to provide content for the new Viiv PCs.

These include one with Google that will allow people to watch video stored on the search giant's video service.

Portable power

Intel boss Paul Otellini used his speech to tech enthusiasts at CES to launch the company's new Core Duo chips.

These have two so-called cores on a single chip. Intel says they will be able to deliver more power while offering longer battery life on laptops.

"With our new platforms, we're not only boosting wireless computing, but also advancing digital entertainment a few steps closer to effortless," said Mr Otellini.

Intel's processors power an estimated 90% of the world's personal computers.

The announcements reflect Intel's shift of focus from being seen as a PC chipmaker to providing the technology for different platforms.

Video Google

Viiv PCs will be based on Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition. They are aimed at providing a one-stop shop for digital entertainment, replacing the usual boxes that surround the TV, such as a DVD player or set-top box.

Don MacDonald, VP of Intel Digital Home Group, unveils Viiv in Las Vegas
Intel is doing deals with NBC and Google
In order to provide content for the new machines, Intel has put together dozens of deals.

It has reached an arrangement with US network NBC to provide high-definition clips from the Winter Olympics in Turin next month.

But the deal that has attracted the most attention is the one with Google as it is seen as bringing considerable kudos to Intel.

"Both companies believe open standards are critical to provide rapid growth in digital entertainment," said Susan Wojcicki, Google's vice president for product management.

"Our goal is to work closely with Intel to make Google Video content available on new digital devices in the home," she said.

The partnership highlights Google's growth beyond its search engine roots into a range of internet and software services.

Google co-founder Larry Page is due to deliver a keynote speech at CES on Friday, amid speculation that the company is set to start selling TV and sports shows online.

CES, the industry's biggest expo that showcases the latest gadgets and services, runs until Sunday in Las Vegas.




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