As expected, Intel unveiled two fresh elements of its strategy for consumer PCs on Thursday at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show.
The company also announced partnerships with content providers such as The DirectTV Group, AOL, and NBC that will give Viiv users the chance to start watching video on their Viiv's.
Introducing - Core Duo
Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini used his afternoon keynote slot at CES to formally unveil notebooks based on the Centrino Duo, formerly known as Napa, and Viiv home entertainment PCs. Intel has been talking about its latest notebook technology for over a year, and Viiv made its debut appearance at the Intel Developer Forum last August.
All that was left was the names of the chips that make up the Centrino Duo package. Yonah, the former code name 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.
"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 would be expected, just about every major PC vendor, including Dell, HP, Lenovo, Gateway, Sony, Samsung and others intend releasing Centrino Duo notebooks shortly.
PC makers will be able to take advantage of Intel marketing efforts behind the Viiv brand if they use Intel chips, including software that lets users share content around their home networks.
Intel's multimedia mission
Content providers are playing their part too. Intel and DirectTV will develop a set-top box based on Viiv that can receive content from DirectTV's satellites sometime in 2006, said Chase Carey, president and CEO of DirectTV, who joined Otellini on stage along with Jonathan Miller, chairman and CEO of AOL. AOL's thousands of music videos, vintage television shows, and sports highlights will also be available to users who buy Viiv PCs, he said.
NBC plans to make video clips of the upcoming Olympic Games available to Viiv users through an NBC website, said Jeff Zucker, CEO of NBC's Universal Television Group, in a video shown during Otellini's speech.
These partners will make their content available through an interface available on the startup screen of Viiv PC jointly developed by Intel and Microsoft, said Don McDonald, vice president and general manager of Intel's digital home group.
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 the concept 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.