Intel touts Sandy Bridge media capability

update Built-in graphics for chipmaker's new family of processors will be "future proof" as users create more media, says Intel exec.

update SINGAPORE--In a show-and-tell of its latest generation of processors, Sandy Bridge, Intel touts its new built-in graphics capability as "future proof" and a strong appeal to mainstream users.

Speaking at a media briefing here Wednesday, Patrick Liew, Singapore country manager for the chip giant, said consumers are no longer concerned about speed-based performance matrix. Instead, users are more savvy and base system performance on user experience, he noted.

Liew added that the new chips, armed with integrated graphics capability, suit mainstream users who are now consuming and creating media to share online.

"Access to visual [tools] used to be an exclusive space for those who can afford it, [belonging to the] very high-end performance systems [category]," he said. With Sandy Bridge, he added that even users with mainstream systems can participate in multimedia content creation.

With the new generation of chips, users will also be "future ready" as media consumption and creation increase over the coming years, he said. Liew noted that, by 2013, about 90 percent of Internet traffic will comprise videos. He added that service providers are now rushing to improve their networks to cater to growing user expectation.

Ramaprasad Srinivasan, regional marketing manager of consumer client platforms at Intel Asia-Pacific, revealed that Sandy Bridge is targeted at mainstream computers, all-in-one PCs and devices with smaller form factors.

Speaking to ZDNet Asia at the sidelines of the briefing, Liew noted that the new chipset is not optimized for slate devices, which are a "different ball game".

He pointed instead to Intel's netbook and tablet group which is working on processors that are architected for this form factor, and noted that the chipmaker's Oak Trail processors are targeted specifically at slates.

Liew stressed that the PC segment is still performing well, shipping 1 million units each day globally. Intel CEO Paul Otellini last month had noted that reports of the demise of PC are exaggerated.

Aside from better performance, Srinivasan added that Sandy Bridge also offers enterprise users--running the vPro platform--features such as keyboard-video-mouse redirection. This allows IT administrators to remotely direct unresponsive PCs to a management console, he explained.

The first batch of Sandy Bridge processors were launched on Jan. 9 at this year's Consumer Electronics Show. Compared to Intel's previous chips, the new processors are 42 percent faster at content creation and 50 percent faster at games, according to a report by ZDNet Asia's sister site, CNET News.

Liew shared that several PC makers already offer products running on Sandy Bridge, including laptops from vendors such as Dell Computer and Fujitsu.

A Dell spokesperson, who was also at the briefing, told ZDNet Asia that the company's Dell XPS 17 is powered by the new chip and more products powered by Sandy Bridge will be released soon. She added that the new processors will appeal to high-end customers for whom speed is a critical deciding factor.