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Electronics go multimedia

Philips and Intel twin up to bring more functions to consumer devices

Philips plans to offer design and manufacturing services for a new generation of consumer electronics devices based on Philips' Pronto++ Software for multimedia and Intel PXA250 XScale processors. Philips will also release its own set of products based on the technology.

Pronto++ Software lets a consumer electronics device provide various types of multimedia content, such as video, audio and games, said Sugata Sanyal, director of Philips Components. Most consumer electronics devices provide only a single multimedia function — for example, an audio MP3 player — and lack other media technologies such as video.

The new devices will be able to take advantage of the PXA250's low power consumption and 32bit embedded processing power, said Mike Iannitti, director of Intel's extended computing division. Intel's XScale technology hasn't been used in consumer electronics devices yet. Intel has invested heavily in a new generation of its XScale processors, and will announce new products for multimedia technology at its upcoming Intel Developer Forum, which starts on 9 September.

Entertainment devices will probably be the first products to emerge from the combination of Philips' software and Intel processors, Sanyal said. Examples include television guides, web browsers, remote controls and Java gaming devices.

Philips will either help manufacturers design new products based on the multimedia technology or build the products for them, said Sanyal. The company will provide reference hardware, such as sample devices with the XScale chips, and its software to interested partners. It will also offer consulting services and back-end technology as needed.

Philips' own multimedia consumer electronics products with PXA250 processors will be announced at its upcoming Cedia tradeshow starting 25 September.

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