Display chips, Pentium M part of digital home

Intel's "laser focus" on the consumer will lead to digital display processors and desktops based on the Pentium M mobile processor.

Intel confirmed its plans to release processors targeted specifically at consumer electronics and digital home devices, and dropped some of the strongest hints yet that it is planning to eventually shift its processors for desktop PCs to the Pentium M chip during a morning keynote address at the Spring Intel Developer Forum.

Don MacDonald, general manager of Intel's newly formed Digital Home Group, announced that Intel plans to develop three processors designed specifically to enhance the performance of digital displays. Few details were immediately available about the Rembrandt Digital Display processor, the Matisse Digital Video De-Interfacer, and the Monet Integrated Multimedia Display processor, but the chips will be part of platforms that Intel plans to deliver to consumer electronics manufacturers, MacDonald said.

Sources told IDG News Service in December that Intel was planning to amplify its stake in the consumer electronics market, but the company declined to confirm those plans at the time. Intel has sold its Pentium 4 and Celeron processors for use in consumer electronics devices like set-top boxes and video players, but it's now clear that these devices will be a significant focus of the Digital Home Group. Future devices will incorporate the technology Intel plans to acquire from Oplus Technology, which is expected to close in a few months, Intel said last week.

MacDonald also showed conference attendees a sleek small desktop based on Yonah, the dual-core successor to the Pentium M processor that is expected to be released in wide volumes early in 2006. Intel is expected to eventually shift all of its processors for client devices to the Pentium M architecture, taking advantage of its low-power characteristics.

As part of a company-wide reorganization in January, Intel formed the Digital Home Group with "a laser focus" on the consumer, MacDonald said. His group is currently developing processors and platforms using chips based on the venerable Pentium 4 architecture, but Intel has given MacDonald the freedom to pick architectures from across Intel's assets, he said.

"The Digital Home Group can use any of the resources within Intel in our space," MacDonald said.

The current Pentium M processors provide plenty of performance for basic computing tasks undertaken by a small form factor PC, said Peter Glaskowsky, an analyst with The Envisioneering Group. And technologies within Yonah are expected to dramatically improve the performance of the chip for general computing tasks and multimedia applications.

"If you want to make a PC the size of a laptop, you need to use laptop parts," Glaskowsky said. Consumers are expected to prefer smaller PCs for their digital homes that occupy less space than today's desktops and operate without loud cooling fans, ideal characteristics provided by the Pentium M, he said.

For now, MacDonald's group is preparing to roll out the Anchor Creek platform for digital home PCs. This platform uses either the Pentium D processor, a dual-core processor, or the Pentium Extreme Edition 840 dual-core processor that also comes with hyperthreading technology for a total of four application threads.

These multiple threads will change the way that families use computers in their homes, MacDonald said. He demonstrated a desktop PC with the Pentium Extreme Edition 840 that could play a high-definition video in a virtual living room while another family member played a video game in another room. Both the video and the game were shown running on the system without any interruptions in the image, taking advantage of the multithreaded technology available in the Extreme Edition 840, MacDonald said. That chip will be available in the second quarter.

The Anchor Creek platform will also come with new chipset technology with improved graphics performance, MacDonald said.

In addition to the small form factor PC shown with the Yonah core during MacDonald's presentation, Intel also announced a concept design for a corporate desktop PC that uses the company's mobile technology.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tom Krazit

IDG News Service
Show Comments



Victorinox Werks Professional Executive 17 Laptop Case

Learn more >



Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?