Intel exec: next chipsets are biggest leap in 10 years

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Intel's next generation of chipsets will mark a milestone in performance and digital convergence, combining several critical technologies to boost audio, video and image performance, a top executive of the chipmaker claimed.

Intel's next generation of chipsets will mark a milestone in performance and digital convergence, combining several critical technologies to boost audio, video and image performance, a top executive of the chipmaker claimed.

Speaking at the bi-annual Intel Developer Forum, in San Francisco, Louis Burns, vice president and general manager of Intel's Desktop Platform Group, said the forthcoming Alderwood and Grantsdale chipsets will deliver "the largest fundamental step forward in chipset capabilities in the last decade."
The chipsets will include PCI Express x16 Discrete Graphics capability -- which the company helped develop with graphics companies NVIDIA and ATI -- and Dual Channel DDR2-553 memory capability in a four-layer motherboard. In graphics alone, Burns said the performance provided by the chipsets would be "a quantum leap forward."

Grantsdale will be available in the first half of the year, while Alderwood is slated for shipment in the second half of 2004, according to Intel executives.
Burns said the performance boosts will go a long way toward capitalising on the growing market for devices designed for digital convergence. Burns has been leading Intel's efforts aimed at both digital convergence and the digital home.

In conjunction with Burns' keynote, Dolby Laboratories announced that it is rolling out two new initiatives for the computer industry: The Dolby Pro Logic IIx high-definition audio technology will be made available for PCs, and a new Dolby PC Logo program will be provided to system builders developing products based on Dolby's specs. Dolby executives said they expect new PCs based on the Dolby technology available later this year.

At the forum, Burns additionally:
* Said "response has been mind-blowing" to Intel's US$200 million Digital Home fund, which the company established to provide seed money to third-party developers working on new ideas in digital convergence;
* Noted that the Digital Home Working Group, which began last year with 17 companies as members, has now reached more than 100;
* Predicted that web services, now rolling out in commercial IT, would play a vital role in the digital home space in content-management and other aspects of the market;
* Forecast that developments in the communications, computing and content industries will mean "not three industries -- but the creation of a new industry."

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