Intel will repackage the same basic technology used in its Centrino mobile platform as part of a new home-entertainment platform that will be branded as Viiv.
Viiv (rhymes with five) will be the second branded platform by Intel following Centrino, although executives conceded Wednesday at the Intel Developer Forum that the new platform will be based primarily on the same processor and support chipsets as its mobile platform.
"They are two brands that intersect," said Pat Gelsinger, senior VP and general manager of Intel's digital enterprise group.
The first Viiv-branded systems are expected in the first quarter of 2006. Intel declined to specify any equipment manufacturers that will be using the brand, but Don McDonald, VP and general manager of the digital home group, said there's "momentum" behind the platform and that specific support will announced at launch.
Viiv systems will use the same dual-core Yonah Pentium M processor to be used in the next mobile Centrino update, which also is set for the first quarter of 2006, as well as the same supporting networking and graphics chipsets.
Consumers will be able to get Viiv technology in a variety of form factors, according to McDonald, including small DVD-sized components and more conventional looking desktop and tower PC designs.
All Viiv systems will ship with a remote control, Microsoft Windows Media Center Edition operating system, and other software that will allow users to interact with their PC in similar fashion to using a television.
The use of dual-core processor technology is expected to ease consumer's ability to conduct simultaneous actions such as watching a movie while also downloading music.
Intel sees significant opportunity in the home-entertainment PC market. About 80 million consumer PCs are expected to be shipped this year, and Intel estimates there as many as one billion consumer electronic devices that could eventually use technology associated with the new platform.