Intel announced at the Intel Developer Forum (IDF) that it's partnering with Yahoo in a new effort to link the TV to the internet.

Yahoo's Widget Engine is an interactive software platform that combines with Intel's new Media Processor CE3100 to power Yahoo's Widget Channel. Yahoo will also provide Yahoo-branded widgets based on its internet services, like Yahoo Finance and Yahoo Sports to the system.

"TV will fundamentally change how we talk about, imagine and experience the Internet," said Eric Kim, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Digital Home Group, in a keynote address at IDF on Wednesday. "No longer just a passive experience unless the viewer wants it that way, Intel and Yahoo are proposing a way where the TV and Internet are as interactive, and seamless, as possible."

TV sets, cable set-top boxes and optical media players built with special Intel processors and supporting a Yahoo software framework will allow people to integrate lightweight 'widget' applications into their viewing experience.

Powered by the Yahoo's Widget Engine, the Widget Channel is designed to help device makers and developers deliver high definition user experiences on TV. Yahoo said TV Widgets will allow viewers to keep up with favourite sports teams, track stocks, stay up to date with the latest news, and share photos with friends and family, all via TV Widgets.

There's no specific timetable for delivery of the components in the project, Yahoo and Intel hope to see devices hit the market in early 2009.