AMD Targets Digital Home With New Computers - InformationWeek

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AMD Targets Digital Home With New Computers

New desktops and notebooks will work with cable TV set-top boxes and provide computing capabilities needed to enjoy digital photography, audio, and video on a television set using a remote control.

Building on its most successful year ever in the retail PC market, Advanced Micro Devices on Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas unveils its digital media vision and plans to create branded consumer desktop and note books PCs under the name of AMD Live!

In addition, AMD announced that it has entered into a collaborative agreement with STMicrolectronics, the leading supplier of processors used in set-top boxes. The companies will work together to ensure that ST's latest generation set-top box chip, the STB710x, is designed to work in conjunction with the new AMD Live! product line.

"We've all been looking and searching for the Holy Grail of how we get the consumer convergence to take place, and there has been a lot of experimentation going on," says Hal Speed, marketing architect for AMD. "We think that based on consumer research we've been doing that the real start of this will take place in 2006. The partnership with STMicrolectronics is designed to show that AMD wants to work with the consumer electronics industry to ensure that next-generation cable TV set-top boxes will work well with AMD-based PCs, he says.

In October, for the first time, PCs based on AMD processors sold more units in the U.S. retail market than PCs based on Intel processors. Speed believes the new AMD Live! systems will enable the company to take advantage of that momentum, and counter Intel's recently released Viiv platform, its version of a digital media PC for the home.

The AMD Live! systems will not seek to replace the set-top box within the home entertainment system, but rather supplement it by providing the background computing capabilities needed to create digital photography, audio, and video, Speed says, that can been enjoyed on a television set using a remote control.

The first AMD Live! desktop and laptop systems are expected to be on retail shelves in mid 2006. The effort will also include new co-marketing and advertising campaigns. AMD did not name any specific PC manufacturers who will participate in offering the AMD Live! systems.

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