Intel Corporation and Yahoo! Inc. today previewed plans for the Widget Channel, a television (TV) application framework optimized for TV and related consumer electronics (CE) devices that use the Intel Architecture.
The Widget Channel will allow consumers to enjoy rich Internet applications designed for the TV while watching their favorite TV programs.
The announcement was made during the Intel Developer Forum San Francisco 2008 by Eric Kim, Intel Senior Vice President and General Manager, Digital Home Group.
Describing how the TV plays an integral role in people’s lives, reaching more than 1.3 billion households around the world, Eric Kim discussed why the time is right for the Internet to come to the TV. Kim introduced the company’s first purpose-built IA System-on-Chip (SoC) for consumer electronics (CE), the Intel Media Processor CE 3100 (formerly codenamed “Canmore”).
Kim also offered insight into the company’s future silicon roadmap with “Sodaville,” Intel’s next-generation IA SoC for CE based on the Intel Atom processor and scheduled for introduction in 2009.
The Intel Media Processor CE 3100 pairs an Intel Pentium M processor core at 800MHz and 256K L2 Cache, with multi-stream high-definition video decoding and processing hardware, including support for MPEG-2, H.264 and VC-1 with HDMI 1.3a output, and featuring advanced 4-field per pixel motion-adaptive de-interlacing and 9-tap, 128-phase, independent horizontal and vertical scalers.
It also adds a 3-channel 800 MHz DDR2 memory controller supporting tiled memory mapping and channel interleaving, dedicated multi-channel dual audio DSPs with support for 7.1 surround sound implementing advanced audio codecs, including support for Blu-ray requirements. The media processor also features a 2-D/3-D Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 500 supporting multi-threaded dual universal scalable shader architecture for pixel/vertex processing, accelerated BLTs/Alpha BLTs, programmable anti-aliasing and compliance with industry-standard APIs: OpenGL ES 1.1, Open GL ES 2.0 and Open VG 1.0.
In addition, the Intel Media Processor CE 3100 features Intel Media Play Technology, a technology that enables the SoC to decode video content from broadcast, stored and broadband sources using a combination of on-chip hardware decoders and software codecs running on the IA processing core.
The Widget Channel is powered by the Yahoo! Widget Engine and is optimized to use the performance and the capabilities of Intel Media Processor CE 3100. It will be powered by the Yahoo! Widget Engine, a fifth-generation applications platform that will enable TV watchers to interact with a rich set of “TV Widgets,” or small Internet applications designed to complement and enhance the traditional TV watching experience and bring content, information and community features available to the TV set.
TV Widgets will enable consumers to engage in a variety of experiences, such as watching videos, tracking their favorite stocks or sports teams, interacting with friends, or staying current on news and information. Viewers will be able to use TV Widgets to deepen their enjoyment of the programming they are watching, discover new content and services, or share their favorites with friends and family. TV Widgets can be personalized because they will be based upon popular Internet services such as Yahoo! Finance, Yahoo! Sports, Blockbuster and eBay that viewers have customized for daily use.
Intel and Yahoo! are working with industry members to promote the development of open and consistent standards necessary to grow the TV Widget ecosystem. As part of their efforts, the companies are sharing an early version of a development kit for the Widget Channel with selected TV Widget developers now.