Thursday, August 21, 2008

Intel's Canmore connects TV, CE devices to Internet

At the Intel Developer Forum, Intel Corp. introduced the Intel Media Processor CE 3100, the first in a new family of purpose-built SoCs for consumer electronics (CE) devices based on the company's popular Intel architecture (IA) blueprint.

Executives also provided updates on the mobile internet device (MID) category and Intel Atom processor, unveiled a brand with DreamWorks Animation SKG Inc. around the shift to 3D movie-making and outlined a number of efforts to speed many-core processor software design.

The CE 3100 has been developed for Internet-connected CE products such as optical media players, connected CE devices, advanced cable STBs and DTVs. The media processor (previously codenamed "Canmore") combines CE features for high-definition video support, home-theater quality audio and advanced 3D graphics, with the performance, flexibility and compatibility of IA-based hardware and software.

Intel expects to begin shipments of this product next month.

Intel and its customers have been working together to develop a variety of products for emerging growth areas—consumer electronics, MIDs, netbooks and embedded computers—each based on Intel architecture that enables uncompromised Internet access.

"As consumers look to stay connected and entertained regardless of where they are and what device they are using, the Web continues to affect our lives in new ways and is quickly moving to the TV thanks to a new generation of Internet-connected CE devices," said Eric Kim, Intel senior VP and general manager of digital home group. "As Intel delivers its first IA SoC with performance and Internet compatibility for CE devices, we are providing a powerful and flexible technology foundation upon which the industry can quickly innovate upon. This technology foundation will help the high-tech industry bring devices to market faster, as well as encourage new designs and inspire new services, such as connecting the TV to the Internet."

Extending IA into consumer electronics
As another SoC product from Intel, the Intel Media Processor CE 3100 is a highly integrated solution that pairs a powerful IA processor core with leading-edge multistream video decoding and processing hardware. It also adds a 3-channel 800MHz DDR2 memory controller, dedicated multichannel dual audio DSPs, a 3D graphics engine enabling advanced UIs and EPGs, and support for multiple peripherals, including USB 2.0 and PCIe.

The Intel Media Processor CE 3100 also features Intel Media Play Technology that combines hardware-based decoding for broadcast TV and optical media playback with software-based decode for Internet content. When a consumer watches broadcast TV or content on optical media players, the video is encoded in standard formats, such as MPEG-2, H.264 or VC-1. Intel Media Play Technology software routes the video to the on-chip hardware decoders. When viewing Internet content, the software automatically routes the video, and audio as applicable, to a software codec running on the IA processor core. As the Internet becomes more omnipresent, the ability to decode multiple video and audio formats will provide the industry with greater flexibility to evolving standards and technologies, and consumers with more viewing experiences.

The Intel Media Processor CE 3100 is scheduled to ship to CE manufacturers.

Additionally, Intel announced the next generation of parallel programming tools that offer new options for multi-core software development for mainstream client applications. The Intel Parallel Studio includes expanded capabilities for helping design, code, debug and tune applications to harness the power of multicore processing through parallel programming. Intel Parallel Studio will ease the path for parallel application development to deliver performance and forward scaling to many-core processors for Microsoft Visual Studio developers.

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