Intel held its press conference Wednesday morning and announced the worst kept secret of this year’s CES. Intel’s second generation Sandy Bridge processors were introduced and definitely seem like they will live up to the hype. In addition to the incredibly powerful processors, president and CEO Paul Otellini claimed that over the next two years, Intel will continue to develop its focus on Smart TVs (Otellini mentioned the company will keep working with Google to introduce set top boxsets and integrated Blu-ray players), netbooks, tablets, auto technology and connectivity. And we’re set to see devices running Sandy Bridge processors on the market. Intel assured us a variety of machines – from PCs to tablets – will use the technology, and that is has been developed with Windows 7 (and Windows 8) processes in mind.
The next generation of Intel Core
As promised, Sandy Bridge processors are faster, stronger, and better than anything Intel has launched before. Its capabilities are focused on heightening the visual experience, quicker transcoding abilities, and seamless streaming. VP Mooly Eden led most of the press conference, and demonstrated various PCs and notebooks running a Sandy Bridge processor in comparison with the last two generation units. Working with photo editors and HD video transcoders, the new models worked at least two to three times faster than the other models. Even less powerful notebooks, when equipped with the upgraded technology, were easily able to outdo previous Intel Core processors.
We also saw Intel introduce Intel Insider, the speculated digital content service in which consumers using a machine with a Sandy Bridge processor would have the ability to stream newly released HD movies. President of Warner Brothers Kevin Tsujihara explained that in the past, production studios (namely, his) hesitated to offer HD content to the PC for fear that it would not be an optimal visual experience. Now with Intel’s new technology, his and other producers will be partnering with the company to offer this service. He also claimed that Sandy Bridge processors will “raise the bar for us” and that in the future, this partnership will grow to include 3D content. Other companies partnering with Intel Insider include Best Buy CinemaNow, Dreamworks, Fox, WB, and Roxio. And the demo didn’t disappoint: a short clip from the film Inception proved the 1080p HD playback is responsive and streams without any lag or visual disappointments to a TV set.
Odds and ends
Intel also let us in on one ongoing project. The company is investing in image metrics, and working to develop a real-time gesture recognition program in which you can create an avatar immediately and use to insert your own likeness into games. Mooly insisted this will be focused on “fun, social networking, and games.”
So what didn’t today’s press conference cover? Smartphones and servers – Otellini insisted that all phone talk is delegated for the Mobile World Meeting in Barcelona next month.
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