Intel Expands Into Consumer Electronics

In his CES keynote address, Intel president Paul Otellini foretells of the "entertainment PC."

LAS VEGAS—By next year, your TV as well as your PC may contain the tagline "Intel Inside".

Intel Corp. President Paul Otellini described the companys expansion into consumer electronics products in a keynote speech here at the Consumer Electronics Show on Thursday.

The chipmaker wont actually manufacture the products, but the technologies such as liquid crystal on silicon (LCOS), the companys Xscale embedded processor and a new mobile graphics processor will power a new category of entertainment PCs. LCOS, in particular, will enable dramatically cheaper PCs by 2005, Otellini said.

"Over 350 million digital devices will be sold into the home this year," Otellini said. "About 1.5 billion devices will be sold between 2004 and 2006, according to IDC. In many ways its a larger market than the PC."

The key will be making the transition as smooth, seamless and quickly as possible. Although software tools have standardized and costs have decreased, development time has dramatically grown in the past 20 years, Otellini said. The shift to the CE market will follow the same trends as the PC, and the lessons will be similar.

Thats exactly what happened in the PC industry," Otellini said. "The first movers, the fast movers, were the ones that gained market share and the riches of the PC industry."

One of the first moves will be the introduction of the "entertainment PC" or EPC, a device designed to consume content, not create it. An early example of this is the FMC-901 Media Center PC from Gateway Computer. Intel, however, has designed a reference design and will provide it to OEMs free of charge, Otellini said.


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