Intel fund to bolster consumer electronics

Intel has created a $200 million venture capital fund to invest in start-ups and small companies that specialize in technology for the home. The Digital Home Fund, which will be managed inside Intel Capital, will help hardware, software and networking companies in the consumer arena get off the ground. BridgCo, which designs chips for media adapters, and Musicmatch, which makes software for organizing digital soundtracks, will receive money from the fund. Intel invested in these companies before the fund was created, but they are being grandfathered into the fund, an Intel representative said.

Consumer electronics has become the rallying cry for the PC community. Dell, Gateway and Hewlett-Packard are getting into the market for televisions and music players. Microsoft, Intel, Sony and others, meanwhile, are working with film studios and music producers to establish standards for exchanging and playing media files over home networks. A number of announcements from these companies will come out of the Consumer Electronics Show, which begins Wednesday in Las Vegas with a keynote speech from Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates.

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