East Fork: Media Chipset for Home PC’s from Intel

A chip set focused on providing home users with the ability to capture, manipulate and distribute digital audio and video content around a home network wirelessly is running through the rumour mill. It has been long anticipated.

Intel recently dropped the launch of the 4GHz version of their P4 processor. Many commentators had been wondering what people were going to use all of that processing power for after chip speeds have spiralled upwards in the last few years. In discussion that we’ve had with senior Intel people, it has been clear that they don’t really know what to do with all of that power.

Their new approach is to develop ranges of “platforms” – Centrino, the chipset designed for laptops being a good example. It has low-power use and WiFi built in.

Reuters are reporting on project name “East Fork” will focus the power of the chips on providing and distributing and manipulating Audio and Video (AV) content around peoples home. Playing back AV content doesn’t take a huge amount of processing power, but capturing video and real-time encoding it, to distributed around the household does. The problem Intel faces with that is the media companies don’t want their content digitised, but they are addressing this with content protecting schemes.

The Korean DigiTimes has information that the complete setup will be called “DH EF PCs”. Not too catchy, and we assume an internal name only, that stands for Digital Home East Fork PC.