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Otellini Touts Next-Gen Notebooks, Home Theater

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LAS VEGAS — Intel demonstrated three new brands for the notebook and home theater PC markets.

Speaking at the 2006 International Consumer Electronics Show here, Intel Chief Executive Paul Otellini formally unveiled the Core Duo brand — a marketing moniker designed to promote the dual-core nature of its newest line of processors. The brand launch marks the debut of Intel’s first new premium brand since the world’s largest chipmaker unveiled Pentium in 1993.

Otellini also announced the much-anticipated, dual-core successor to the company’s popular Centrino technology. Dubbed Centrino Duo — after the improved-performance dual-core processor at the heart of the technology — the brand is aimed squarely at consumers who routinely perform “multimedia multitasking” on their machines, like ripping CDs while watching video and downloading photos.

Intel’s recently-unveiled VIIV platform also received a lengthy demo at the show, with Otellini and other Intel spokespeople describing VIIV’s capabilities and content partnerships.

Like Centrino, VIIV is a marketing term describing a number of interrelated PC components that deliver, in Otellini’s words, a “digital entertainment experience.” In this case, VIIV functions more like an approval seal, however, signifying to consumers that dual-core PCs and components are capable of working together to deliver special features.

Those VIIV features include the ability to send videos and other media to other VIIV-compatible televisions and PCs throughout the home. It also enables users to download premium content from a roster of partners, including new additions America Online, NBC, Mexico’s Grupo Televisa, Bollywood distributor Eros, and Shanghai Media Group.

The introduction of the three brands comes at a time when Otellini said consumers are have reached a point of high expectation from PC technology. In mobility, for instance, consumer awareness of WiFi drove the sale of more than 30 million Centrino-powered notebooks during the past 12 months, he said. But users seek ever-advancing capabilities, and the same level of simplicity they see in consumer electronics devices.

“We expect a WiFi connection in that coffee shop, and we are disappointed when we don’t get it,” he said.

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