Intel has been actively gearing up for the past year to provide both silicon and software to Internet-enabled TV ventures.
Intel and Google appear close to announcing a deal with Sony for Internet-enabled TVs at a Google developer conference later this week in San Francisco.
The deal would help Sony to differentiate itself in a challenging and highly competitive marketplace for television sets. Last week, Sony reported pricing pressure on its Bravia LCD televisions, contributing to a half-billion-dollar loss in Sony's consumer products and devices division.
Intel has been actively gearing up for the past year to provide both silicon and software to Internet-enabled TV ventures, according to Eric Kim, SVP and GM, digital home group, Intel Corporation, speaking at a May 11th investor presentation.
On the silicon side, Intel has an order backlog of one million units of its second-generation "System-on-Chip" (SoC) Intel Atom CE 4100, which entered production in December 2009. Customers include France Telecom and other major service providers, cable operators and IPTV operators to be announced.
On the software side, Intel has developed a consumer electronics (CE) operating system based on MeeGo Linux. The OS will support legacy CE middleware, including various systems developed by broadcast and pay-TV providers around the world, as well as fully-capable Internet applications including HTML5, OpenGL, and Adobe Flash 10.1. "When vendors say, 'We support Flash,' it usually means Flash Lite," said Kim. "We provide the performance headroom to run Flash without any constraints."
Intel's previous software framework, Widget Channel, was developed in conjunction with Yahoo! to enable developers to build small applications to enhance the viewing experience.
With the reported deal, Google, along with its developer community, would have a prime position to provide applications and content optimized for the Intel framework. In addition, the delivery channel opens up new methods of delivering user content, presenting contextual advertising, and gathering user information.
However, Intel's Kim was careful to point out that the latest generation of smart-TV technology was intended to complement existing networks and providers rather than attempt to replace it entirely. "We thought it was important to embrace the broadcast legacy infrastructure," said Kim. "These players invested billions into infrastructure, and they're not going to throw it away."
Google is holding its annual developer conference, Google I/O, on Wednesday and Thursday in San Francisco.
InformationWeek Elite 100Our data shows these innovators using digital technology in two key areas: providing better products and cutting costs. Almost half of them expect to introduce a new IT-led product this year, and 46% are using technology to make business processes more efficient.
The UC Infrastructure TrapWorries about subpar networks tanking unified communications programs could be valid: Thirty-one percent of respondents have rolled capabilities out to less than 10% of users vs. 21% delivering UC to 76% or more. Is low uptake a result of strained infrastructures delivering poor performance?
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of December 14, 2014. Be here for the show and for the incredible Friday Afternoon Conversation that runs beside the program.