Intel is hard at work on efforts that it hopes will shake up the pay-TV market and potentially kill cable as we know it today, and those efforts recently took a big step toward become a reality, according to a new report. Santa Clara-based Intel has been confirmed to be working on its own set-top box and associated television service that could potentially change the way viewers consume TV. The company is also looking to shake up TV advertising, and is willing to pay as much as 75% more for content than traditional cable providers because its box will utilize a built-in camera to collect data on viewers’ habits that it will then use to serve targeted ads. Now, according to a new report, Intel’s set-top box and service are being tested by thousands of Intel employees in three different markets. More →
A new report suggests that Intel is preparing to release performance oriented Haswell processors for desktop computers in the second half of 2014. According to a leak from VR-Zone, the company’s fourth-generation Core processors will be available in 6-core and 8-core variants with up to 20MB of L3 cache. The Haswell-E enthusiast grade platform is expected to perform up to 50% better than high-end Ivy Bridge processors. Intel is also expected to introduce new Wellsburg motherboard chipsets that are capable of supporting DDR4 RAM clocked up to 2,133 MHz right out of the box. Although these high-end chips aren’t expected to arrive until late 2014, Haswell processors are available now in a variety of laptops, including the new 11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air.
Intel’s plan to shake up the pay-TV industry looks like it will come at a heavy price. Reuters reports that Intel is willing to pay 75% more than cable company rates for the rights to broadcast live television over the Internet on its upcoming set-top box. Reuters‘ sources say that despite offering such a huge premium, Intel has yet to actually close out deals with any media companies for the rights to stream content. What’s more, Intel has apparently tried to sweeten the deal for broadcasters by suggesting that its set-top box will make it impossible for viewers to skip through commercials the first time they watch a program. We still don’t have any firm details on when Intel’s set-top box and associated service will come out or what they will cost, although the company has said that it will include a Kinect-like sensor designed to collect data for advertisers on users’ viewing habits.
Intel’s next-generation processors have been built from the ground up to deliver both improved performance and battery life. Intel’s Haswell platform is based on the 22 nanometer architecture and is designed to double or even triple graphics performance with its integrated GPU. The chip consumes less power than Ivy Bridge processors and is said to improve battery life by up to 50% with no loss of performance, which roughly translates to 9.1 hours of HD video playback. The company claims Haswell will deliver the “biggest battery life increase in Intel history.” Engadget reports that quad-core Haswell desktop processors will be available beginning this Tuesday starting at $192 for the i5-4570 and up to $339 for the high-end Core i7-4770K.
Like many in the PC manufacturing and component supply business, Intel has been caught flat-footed by the rise of tablets, which have been eating away at PC sales for the past several quarters. An unnamed source tells Reuters, however, that Intel’s losing streak in the mobile world may soon be over because it’s scored a deal to supply chips for the new high-end Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 10.1. Although Intel chips have been used before in Samsung’s Windows-based ATIV tablets, having its chips in flagship Android tablets would provide a major boost for the company and give its new mobile-centric chips legitimacy in the consumer electronics industry. Reuters says that Intel has been “rushing to adapt its powerful PC chips to use less energy and work more efficiently in mobile devices.”
Windows 8 hasn’t done much to entice people to upgrade their laptop and desktop computers, and PC makers are hurting as a result. While Microsoft’s Windows 8.1 update might make the new platform a bit more enticing when it launches later this year, consumers and enterprise users may soon have an even better reason to upgrade. According to Rani Borkar, vice president of Intel’s Architecture group, the firm’s next-generation Haswell processors will help laptops get 50% better battery life during usage and they will last 20 times longer on standby, Computerworld reports. Those numbers already sound too good to be true, but to drop a cherry on top, Borkar says Haswell’s efficiency improvements will come at no cost to performance. Intel is expected to debut its Haswell chips next month at the annual Computex trade show.
A teenager from Saratoga, California took home one of the top prizes at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair late last week after showing off her invention, which can fully charge a cell phone in 30 seconds or less. Eesha Khare was given the Intel Foundation Young Scientist Award and a $50,000 prize for being runner-up in the competition, which was won by a 19-year-old who unveiled a new spin on self-driving car technology. Khare’s battery technology requires a new component to be installed inside the phone battery itself, and Intel notes that it also has potential applications for car batteries.
Samsung, Intel and Telefónica have joined the likes of Google and invested in a startup company that specializes in speech analysis, IDC News Service reported. The San Francisco-based Expect Labs created a technology that can analyze and understand conversations in real-time, and then uses that data to find related information. The company previously created an iPad application known as MindMeld that can analyze a conversation and automatically display relevant content such as photos, videos and articles. More →
Google hasn’t had much luck so far with selling many Chromebooks but the company is hoping to have better luck selling super-cheap notebooks based on its popular Android operating system. Intel chief product officer Dadi Perlmutter tells CNET that Intel is supplying Atom processors for a line of Android touchscreen notebooks that will be aggressively priced in the $200 range. Perlmutter said that we’re unlikely to see Windows-based notebooks priced in this range, however, since their retail cost “depends on how Microsoft prices Windows 8” while Android is free for OEMs to use. The Intel executive didn’t provide any release timeframe or specifications for the future Android notebooks.
Speculation swirled late last year that Apple (AAPL) could be considering a switch away from Intel chips in its notebook computer lines, opting instead to use its own in-house ARM-based chipsets. Such a move likely wouldn’t happen anytime soon, but Intel (INTC) may have found a way to benefit from this eventual shift away from its processors while actually boosting its business with Apple in the process: Build Apple’s in-house chips. More →
The rumors were true — Intel (INTC) really is working to shake up the television industry by offering its own set top box that delivers live television broadcasts over the Internet. But there’s a catch — as AllThingsD reports, the box will include a built-in camera that’s designed to watch users in their living rooms to collect data on their viewing habits to better help marketers target their ads. Erik Huggers, Intel Media’s corporate vice president, told the D: Dive Into Media conference on Tuesday that users should think of the camera as a way to personalize their experience with their television, much in the same way that Google (GOOG) users allow the company to collect data on them and deliver personalized ads based on their search histories, email contents and Google+ posts. More →
The PC industry is in shambles and no one is going to be hit harder than Microsoft (MSFT) and Intel (INTC), according to the latest forecasts from market research firm Canalys. Consumers continue to favor Android and iOS tablets over Windows and Intel (a.k.a., “Wintel”) PCs. The research firm found that combined shipments of desktops, netbooks and notebooks in the fourth quarter of 2012 declined roughly 10% year-over-year. The Wintel PC market is expected to suffer further and is estimated to fall from a 72% market share in 2012 to a 65% share in 2013, representing a 5% decline in unit shipments. More →
Intel (INTC) is indeed working on a service that will look to change the way cable TV is consumed, but it is running into some of the same problems Apple (AAPL) has seen in its efforts to turn the TV business on its head. The Wall Street Journal reports that Intel is currently in negotiations with media companies to discuss plans to become a “virtual cable operator,” selling TV channel bundles that would be delivered to users over the Internet. The company is also pitching the idea of offering TV channels outside of bundles, however, and this is where it is running into problems. More →