October 2011

Intel and the Digital Home Making Industry Standards the Foundation for the Digital Home Building out the digital home The digital home is a rapidly evolving reality all around us. Every day people use a wide variety of home devices that are digital—everything from HDTVs to laptops, smart phones and MP3 players. This list continues to grow as new digital devices and technologies for home and mobile use make their way into the market. Still, there is much more in store for the digital home. The vision of a home full of connected, interoperable devices that easily exchange and play content is only partially realized. Recent developments, such as the convergence of television and Internet content converge into products like smart TV offer new opportunities for connectivity. What's more, the rate of innovation in consumer electronics continues to benefit just as computers do from Moore's Law. For instance, the availability of powerful, inexpensive "System-on-a-Chip" (SoC) solutions (such as the Intel® Atom™ CE4200 processor) is transforming digital TVs, DVD players, and advanced set-top boxes. By integrating key components into a single integrated circuit, SoCs support rich Web applications in addition to high-definition (HD) audio-visual content. This allows more consumer devices to become net-connected for streaming content, applications, and other media, and enables TV manufacturers to inexpensively add more intuitive user interfaces and the ability to search and display Internet content. In addition to these innovations, new industry alliances offer promise for improving life in the digital home. A good example is Google TV. Created through an alliance of Google, Intel, Sony, Logitech, Best Buy, DISH Network, and Adobe, this new platform enables consumers to access all their usual TV channels, as well as a world of Internet and cloud-based information and applications—all from the comfort of their own living room. However, despite this progress, there are still challenges. Connectivity and ease of use remain issues in the digital home. It can be frustratingly difficult to navigate the Internet with a television- style remote control, or to try to add new devices to a home network to exchange content and services. Intel believes many of the shortcomings in today's technologies must be addressed in order for the digital home to achieve its full potential—and sees this as an effort well worth making. The combination of digital TV broadcast and broadband technologies, combined with advances in home networking, offer consumers the opportunity for unprecedented control over their media experiences, as well as new market opportunities for consumer electronic product manufacturers, content owners, application developers, and service providers. A major part of the solution is industry standards. These are standards developed by organizations that are open to participation, provide public access to their standards, and support 1 implementation by global stakeholders. As the world's leading manufacturer of microprocessors, Intel has a strong interest in open industry standards that ensure the vision of the digital home both meets consumer expectations and enables manufacturers to innovate, compete and accelerate development of the next generation of interoperable digital home devices. This case study will discuss many of the trends leading to the need for these standards and Intel’s work with various standards organizations on them. Digital home trends Consumer electronics is now at an