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Intel Gives Details On Viiv, Napa Platforms

Intel gave the specifics on two long-awaited new technologies, the Viiv entertainment platform and the company’s latest-generation mobile platform, code-named Napa, at a press briefing last week.

A list of launch partners for Viiv and Napa are not yet available, but both platforms will be available during the first quarter for inclusion in third-party computers. Intel CEO Paul Otellini is scheduled to make a keynote address on Jan. 5, 2006, at International CES.

Intel is touting Viiv as a home entertainment platform that will greatly improve the experience consumers now receive using Windows Media Center Edition. Viiv’s primary intention is to bring a CE-like experience to applications like downloadable TV programming, movies and being able to distribute this content around a home a via a network. The Viiv platform will work with and connect televisions, computers and handheld devices.

“You can do a lot of this today, but it’s not easy,” said Bill Leszinske, Intel’s digital home marketing and planning director. “Viiv will make it easer and Viiv is ensuring a great experience especially with a remote,” he added.

Brian Fravel, Intel’s desktop marketing manager, said starting in the first quarter Viiv chipsets will be included in higher-end MCE PCs using Pentium D, Intel Extreme and Yonah mobile processor. Viiv-enabled systems will feature instant on/off, like a TV, come in a variety of traditional computer and CE formats and have the power to do several tasks at once.

Intel has already announced several hardware and content partners, but Leszinske said additional top tier CE vendors will announce support for Viiv at CES. In addition, legacy CE products will be able to connect into a Viiv-based system through new network capable set top boxes. Intel will test all and label them Viiv-certified, meaning that they will function with similar devices.

The upcoming Napa mobile dual-core processors, shipping during the first quarter, will feature a variety of power savings and performance enhancements over the current Sonoma platform processors. Intel reported that Napa will deliver a 68 percent increase in performance while consuming 28 percent less battery power.