Gaming chips, movies to anchor digital home

Gaming chips, movies to anchor digital home

PC gamers will soon get their very own Pentium 4 processor, Intel has announced at the Fall Intel Developer Forum.

The Pentium 4 processor with Hyperthreading Technology Extreme Edition will be available in 30 to 60 days, Intel vice-president and general manager, Louis Burns, announced during his keynote address.

The processor would be shipped at 3.2GHz, and Intel had added 2MB of Level 3 cache to it, Burns said. Additional cache means the processor can store larger amounts of frequently accessed instructions close to the central processing unit (CPU), improving performance.

Burns also shed more light on the Digital Transmission Content Protection over Internet Protocol (DTCP-IP) standard designed to protect premium content as it travels between home networking devices.

DTCP-IP was announced by Intel president and chief operating officer, Paul Otellini.

It provided a way to ensure that only devices within a home network could share digital content by requiring public key authentication before transferring a file, Intel said.

By implementing the standard in PCs and consumer electronics devices, movie studios would be able to distribute content and prevent the files from being shared around the globe through peer-to-peer networks, Burns said. Without such protection, studios would be extremely reluctant to deliver such services as in-home premium movies on demand, he said.

Products based on the standard would be available in the second half of 2004, Digital Home Working Group chairman, Scott Smyers, said in a videotaped presentation during the keynote.

Intel's vision of the digital home was on display for the conference attendees, complete with futuristic products as well as demonstrations of existing technologies.

Burns demonstrated a compact PC from Gateway that uses the next generation of Microsoft’s Windows XP Media Center Edition operating system.

It allowed consumers to run multiple programs at the same time, such as downloading a video while playing an interactive game, and was designed for use with digital entertainment, he said.

Gateway will release the device within 30 days.

Intel also announced a new reference design for future PCs. Formerly known as Big Water, the new Balance Technology Extended (BTX) design was available to motherboard designers as of Tuesday, and products based on the design were expected to appear next year, Burns said.

BTX would contain technologies such as a resilient power supply, which protected unsaved on-screen data in the event of a temporary power interruption, Burns said.

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