Intel has announced the development of new chipsets that will add audio, video and other capabilities to personal computers previously found only on specialty PCs.
The new technology, some of which was developed by Intel engineers in Chandler, will pave the way for highdefinition video, surround sound and robust file protection for home and office computers, the company said.
These technologies are helping to turn the PC into an all-in-one "hi-fi" device, said Louis Burns, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Desktop Platforms Group.
"This evolution will help people to better enjoy digital music, photos, videos and games on PCs and other devices in and around the home," he said. "At the same time, the technologies . . . will help drive new uses that boost office productivity, such as simultaneously using multiple monitors with just one PC to work on and track several projects."
The three new chipsets are designed to work with several new Pentium 4 microprocessors, he said. The microprocessor acts as the computer’s "brain" while the chipset is the computer’s "nervous system," directing information from the processor to other parts of the computer.
In addition to improved video and sound quality, the new technology adds other new audio capabilities such as the ability to turn all output jacks on the PC into headphone jacks so several people can listen simultaneously from the same PC without disturbing others.
The technology also can send multiple sound streams through the output jacks simultaneously, allowing such feats as one user listening to MP3 music with headphones while another watches a video with multichannel surround sound from the same PC.
A computer user with an HDTV tuner and appropriate software will be able to watch a movie while recording a television program at the same time on one PC, all in HD quality, the company said.
Also being introduced are chips that allow easier sharing of digital videos, photos and music in and around the home or office, the company said.
"These new technologies will help drive the digital revolution in the home and make the digital office more secure and productive," Burns said.
The "logic graphics memory control" portion of the chipsets was designed in Chandler by a team from the Desktop Platforms Group. Also the new chips are being manufactured at Intel’s Fab 22 in Chandler, said spokeswoman Jeanne Forbis-Amend.