Intel's signs R&D deal with China's Legend

Linking PCs to TVs via home LANs

Intel's Asia-Pacific investment spree continues unabated. Yesterday, the chip giant agreed to found an R&D centre for home networking and security technologies with China's largest PC maker, Legend.

The facility will be part of Legend' Beijing HQ, said Intel China president Wee Theng Tan, according to a Reuters report. The financial terms that underpin the agreement were not disclosed.

Nor was a timetable for the centre's roll-out. However, it is expected to host 30-40 engineers. They will focus their efforts on extending today's computer-centric home networking technologies toward the consumer electronics world, building in links between broadband Net access systems, wireless and wired LANs, and PCs, TVs, DVD players and Hi-Fi.

Legend is one of Intel's biggest customers in the region. It accounts for around 25 per cent of Chinese PC sales. But its rise to the top, rapid though it was, is now being challenged by low-cost PC producers offering commodity systems. Legend needs to differentiate its already highly commoditised offerings from the cheaper competition, and tying its PCs into broader home entertainment systems is one way it hopes to leverage its superior resources to differentiate its products.

To that end, Legend is also working with Sony, Microsoft, HP and Samsung to develop common specifications for such interlinked systems. ®