NYTimes writes about Intel’s “newest foray into the home computing market, blending performance, wireless capability and multimedia audio, video and image features into a set of chips that will be at the core of the next-generation personal computer.”
The new three-chip suite, which has been code-named Grantsdale, is also the clearest expression of the “innovation and integration” strategy of Intel’s rising star, Paul S. Otellini, the chief operating officer. That strategy is both a plan to lure consumers and a bet that Intel can create a new wave of growth in consumer electronics.
In a significant shift, the company, based in Santa Clara, Calif., will announce its fastest processor yet but will focus instead on the ability of the new chip sets to serve as a Wi-Fi base station, support a storage standard that protects against disk failure and allow users to view high-definition video and listen to higher-quality digital audio.
“The last major makeover for the PC happened in the early 90’s,” said William M. Siu, general manager of Intel’s desktop platforms group. “We’re trying to focus not just on technology leadership but on how people will use it.”
WSJ elaborates on the six key features:
PCI Express: Two to four times faster connections to graphics, networking
High-definition audio: Surround-sound; sends and receives multiple audio signals
Built-in wireless: PC itself becomes base station for Wi-Fi network
Matrix storage: Distributes data on multiple hard drives
DDR2 memory: Increases memory chip speed
Built-in graphics: Boosts performance without extra graphics card
It adds: “Grantsdale, and a companion chip set for gamers called Alderwood, are partly a response to the diminishing benefits of improving microprocessors alone. Paul Otellini, Intel’s president and chief operating officer, has pushed the company to develop combinations of chips that are tuned for specific computing applications, such as its Centrino chips for laptop computers with wireless networking. With these technology ‘platforms,’ Intel hopes to stimulate consumer demand while taking over a greater share of all the circuitry inside a PC.”