Feeds

Intel coughs up for the Digital Home

Capital idea

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Intel is to invest $200 million in companies creating technologies to digitise the home.

The cash will come from the California-based company's venture capital arm, Intel Capital, one of the largest venture capital houses in the world. Money from the "Digital Home Fund" will be doled out to start-ups and young businesses over the next three to four years.

Intel is a long-time proponent of the so-called "Digital Home," and its announcement comes on the eve of the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, at which Intel and Microsoft are expected to launch new technologies and initiatives that will promote the PC as the centre of home entertainment. The move is the first step in what some regard as the future of home entertainment, whereby TV, stereos, portable music players, DVD players and perhaps even household appliances will all be linked -- with wireless connections -- and managed through the home PC.

Already talk has begun to spread that Intel, as well as rival chipmaker Motorola, is looking to make microchips to run high-definition digital TVs, and other video devices that would be dependant on a high-speed data network. More details about the strategy are expected to be part of Intel president and COO Paul Otellini's presentation at the CES.

Meanwhile, Dell and other hardware makes have already begun to manufacture and sell TVs that double as computer monitors, and last year the Texas based company launched a portable music player and software to manage audio and video content. HP, Gateway and a slew of other traditional computer makers have, over the last several months, been moving deeper into the consumer electronics (CE) business.

But Intel, the clear leader in the PC microprocessor market, has struggled in other areas, most notably communications. In December the firm said that it anticipated a $600 million goodwill impairment charge in Q4 2003 relating to its Wireless Communications and Computing Group. That group is also set to merge with Intel Communications Group, the company said in December.

Other black spots for Intel have included the so-called Intel "Web Tablet," its failed Home RF initiative, a wireless networking protocol, as well as its entire Connected Products Division, which specialised in digital cameras, digital-audio players and toys. These technologies were launched during the technology boom amidst earlier hype surrounding the impending digital home. But some analysts argue that many components, including wireless networking gear, data storage devices, chips and video screens have become cheap enough to finally allow for the advent of the digital home.

Still, the likes of Intel and it partner Microsoft will face substantial opposition from companies like Philips, Panasonic (Matsushita) and most notably Sony, which launched its own all-in-one home entertainment hub called the PSX, allowing users to run and store video, audio digital images, as well as play Playstation games.

What's more, consumer electronics companies have long had control over the design of their CE devices, as well as the chips these products use. Ascendancy by Intel into the sector would shift the balance of power and could put one-time behemoths like Sony and Philips in the back seat.

© ENN

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Bono apologises for iTunes album dump
Megalomania, generosity and FEAR of irrelevance drove group to Apple deal
HBO shocks US pay TV world: We're down with OTT. Netflix says, 'Gee'
This affects every broadcaster, every cable guy
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
French 'terror law' declares WAR on the INTERNET itself, say digi-rights folks
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité: Two out of three ain't bad
SCREW YOU, EU: BBC rolls out Right To Remember as Google deletes links
Not even Google can withstand the power of Auntie
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.