Prescott makes play for living room

Intel will release a new desktop chip next month, kicking off what is likely to be an intense effort to get computers into the living room. Prescott, the code name for an enhanced version of the Pentium 4 coming out on 2 February, will let Intel bridge the gap between the PC and the television by helping computers function more like VCRs than traditional desktops. The chip itself is tweaked for multimedia, sporting new instructions for handling video and audio files, a larger 1MB cache, and faster chip speeds that will start at around 3.4GHz and go to 4GHz later in the year. Security features designed to thwart attacks will also be enabled with an update of Windows XP coming in the second quarter.

A successor, Tejas, will appear in about a year. A family of chipsets code-named Grantsdale, coming later in the spring, will push the entertainment angle further by adding High Definition Audio and giving PCs the ability to act like a wireless access hub for other household devices. "This is a fundamental leap forward in the platform capability. You are going to have better graphics, better audio," said Louis Burns, vice president and general manager of the Desktop Platforms Group at Intel. "If you compare it to the stack of CE (consumer electronics) stuff you are replacing, it is not only attractive in price, it is very attractive."

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News source: ZDNet UK

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