As Logitech and Sony prepare to launch their smart TV products, each based on the Google TV platform, it’s worth taking a look at what is going on in this category, and why a processor like Atom (and specifically the Intel® Atom™ processor CE4100) plays a key role.Smart TV integrates broadcast TV, the Internet and Apps on one screen, and there are multiple ways to get the experience. The upcoming new Sony Internet TV line, which will be introduced October 12th, has Google TV built right in. Logitech has an innovative and simple approach for those of us who own HD TVs already. Their plan is to add an Atom processor-based ‘buddy’ box, called the Logitech Revue, to your existing television, and still leverage the Google TV platform. Both products will be available soon at stores like Best Buy. There are tons of other smart TV product options, too. The recently announced Boxee Box by D-Link D-Link is a video playback device that can also stream content from the Internet and/or stored data at your home. Back in March, Intel and Telecom Italia announced a Meego software-based collaboration around making multimedia content consumption broader and easier by combining WebTV, video on demand and web-based services for home entertainment. I could go on, Technicolor and Amino also have TV-related products. All these devices are powered by the Atom processor. Even Cisco introduced an in-home video conferencing product “Umi,” that uses an HD TV and camera to make video calls that is also based on our chips. So you have a handful of products poised to deliver the smart TV experience- HD TVs; buddy boxes, Blu-Ray players, set-top boxes from cable and telecom companies. So why is the Atom processor powering all of these products? I thought Vincent Dureau, head of Google TV, said it best to Forbes: “this is a step from 500 channels to infinite channels.” Now, think about how processor intensive running multiple applications, websites, video and everything else you do on a TV or computer is. The Atom CE4100 allows you to easily switch between broadcast and internet sources, or view both simultaneously giving you the performance you want when you’re chugging through that stuff. And think of the various standards that are out there in the Internet world, not just the controversy over who will support Adobe flash, but literally hundreds of different tech standards for computing, televising, browsing, viewing, communicating, gaming, et al. You need a chip design that already runs the Internet – that’s Intel architecture or ‘x86.’ And of course that chip needs to be small, sleek and energy efficient. Here are just a few of the features of the Atom CE4100, our first Atom based System-on-Chip that brings Internet content and services to HD TVs, Blu-ray players, advanced set-top boxes and much more. The SoC includes a display processor, graphics processor, video display controller, transport processor, a security processor and general I/O including SATA-300 and USB 2.0. It also – – Supports Internet and broadcast applications on one chip, and has the processing power and audio/video components necessary to run rich media applications with 3-D graphics; – Is manufactured on Intel’s state of the art technology, including 45 nanometer process technology with high-k metal gate technology included; – Offers speeds up to 1.2GHz; – Is based on Intel architecture, meaning it can run the tens of millions of “x86″ software that is the foundation of Internet computing. Also backward compatible to Intel’s CE 3100 chip; – Includes Intel® Precision View Technology, a display processing engine to support high-definition picture quality; – Adds Intel® Media Play Technology for seamless switching between content sources – Supports hardware decode of up to two 1080p video streams and advanced 3-D graphics and audio standards. Also adds hardware decode for MPEG4 video that is ready for DivX* Home Theater 3.0 certification; – Integrates a NAND flash controller; – Supports both DDR2 and DDR3 memory; – Includes 512K L2 cache (a memory reservoir). As I said a while back, we are just at the forefront of incredible innovation the TV and now computing industry has underway. Sony and Logitech’s products are very cool. I hope they and others share what’s in store for future iterations soon, too. Oh, and we have some pretty cool Atom-based SoC products on tap, too.
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