http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/30/technology/30chip.html?th&emc=th New Focus for Intel: The Home By JOHN MARKOFF Published: December 30, 2005 Intel, the world's biggest chip maker, is breaking away from its longstanding love affair with pure computing power to remake itself as a consumer-friendly brand that will seek to dominate the digital home. Intel's strategy, based on a new generation of multimedia platforms and chips, will be unveiled next week at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. For consumers, the technology shift will mean laptop computers with longer battery life and computers that will become digital entertainment hubs in the living room. When Paul S. Otellini, Intel's chief executive, takes the stage at the show Thursday, he is expected to present a new Intel focused on selling a digital lifestyle rather than hardware. Instead of bits and bytes, Mr. Otellini, the first nonengineer to run Intel, is expected to spend much of his time talking about cool new music and video features that will be made possible by the new home entertainment platform, called Viiv, and Core, a low-powered chip that will eclipse the Pentium M chip for portable computers. The transformation of Intel will, in part, be defined by its new alliance with Apple Computer, which has come to dominate the digital music business and is entering the nascent digital video market with its iPod players. Under the guidance of Eric B. Kim, Intel's senior vice president and a former marketing executive for Samsung Electronics, the company is poised to recast itself as a warm and fuzzy consumer company. Mr. Kim, who was responsible in part for Samsung's transformation into a global consumer brand before joining Intel in September, is leading the company's rebranding effort, which will change the "Intel Inside" logo and introduce the new slogan "Leap Ahead" to tie together the company's many different platforms. Yet despite the softer image, which will be presented in a wave of advertising next year, industry analysts said Intel's fortunes will still hinge on the ability of its chip designers to recapture some of the company's once unchallenged lead in the microprocessor business. In fact, the development of the new Core microprocessor, which will be announced at the electronics show, was the work of a team of Israeli chip designers, who are more emblematic of the old Intel than the new one. Core, code-named Yonah, is a 32-bit microprocessor chip with two separate processing cores and the ability to conserve power and run cooler than previous Intel chips. The development of Core chips is the first in a series of bet-the-company moves that Mr. Otellini is making to stave off the challenge posed by Intel's rival, Advanced Micro Devices. If Intel, based in Santa Clara, Calif., succeeds in its new strategy, it will largely be because it shifted away from its obsession with processing speed, a move that was dictated by the Israeli engineers who put the company on a path to building low-power chips beginning in 2000. Core chips will make possible portable computers with longer battery life. Even more important, Core will be the microprocessor inside the Viiv multimedia platform for the living room, which Intel executives say will be the key to the company's future. "With Yonah you will see super- small consumer machines," said Sean Maloney, Intel's executive vice president and general manager of its mobile computer business. "This will be one of the defining Intel strategies next year. We needed a technology like Yonah for the PC to succeed in the living room." Indeed the entire consumer electronics and computing industry is waiting to see if Apple will be the first company to use the Core chip for its devices. Steven P. Jobs, chief executive of Apple, will take the stage at Apple's annual MacWorld exhibition in San Francisco a week after the Consumer Electronics Show. It is possible that Mr. Jobs will extend the company's iTunes video strategy from the current portable iPod video player into a Yonah-based set-top box that would permit Apple to define the next generation of home video as completely as it has dominated the market for digital audio. While an Apple-Intel living room alliance might not emerge as early as January, most industry observers say they believe that Intel's alliance with Apple was shaped in part by Microsoft's decision to pick the I.B.M. PowerPC chip for its Xbox 360 game machine. "Intel has begun tuning up Yonah for an orchestra we haven't heard yet," said Richard Doherty, a computer industry analyst and president of Envisioneering Inc. in Seaford, N.Y. Yonah will clearly blunt some of the resurgence of Advanced Micro Devices. A.M.D., based in Sunnyvale, Calif., has long been a distant second to Intel. It began making serious inroads into Intel's markets in the last two years when Intel's strategy of trying to divide the 64-bit and 32-bit computing markets failed. While Intel created a new 64-bit microprocessor, Itanium, A.M.D. redesigned its existing 32-bit processor by adding 64-bit capability, allowing it to take market share from Intel in both the server and in the desktop computing markets. But the laptop market and possibly the new market for living room computers based on PC designs is where future growth may lie. With Yonah, Intel stands a good chance of staying ahead of A.M.D. in 2006. Intel is expected to announce next week that several hundred computer companies will build systems based on Core chips. ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.