No real surprise here but it’s good to see Intel continuing to innovate on the video chip side of things. This obviously has some non-HTPC’s in mind, but I can see the technology being spread across all lines of their products.
Intel’s making a big TV push here at IDF, and a lot of it centers around the CE 3100 Media Processor, which combines an 800MHz Pentium M core with a proprietary video processing core all on one chip. That’s about as much power as a 1.2GHz Atom, and it’s enabled some pretty cool demos, like this box that’s running a custom Flash Lite UI on top of Linux. The video silicon accelerates H.264 playback, so newer YouTube content looked fantastic — some of the best big-screen YouTube we’ve ever seen actually. That’s all the software was optimized for, however — older content that required software decoding looked much worse, and playback wasn’t stellar. That’s down to optimization, though, and we’re willing to forgive it, especially since the demo was put together in two weeks or so.