Wed, Jun 02, 2004 - Page 10 News List

Intel to display its home concept at trade show

NEW GROUND The world's leading chipmaker will also demonstrate its new Grantsdale chip, which it says can increase the speed PCs can process graphics data

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Intel Corp, the world's largest computer-chip maker, and other personal computer and electronics makers will tout home entertainment features at the Computex trade show to try to boost slowing PC sales growth.

Intel plans to display a digital home concept at the show, featuring household appliances, including a home theater, controlled by a PC.

PC sales growth has slowed to less than 12 percent from an annual average of 18.6 percent for the 1996 to 2000 period, according to market researcher IDC Corp.

Computex will this year focus on flat-panel displays and wireless home networking as PC makers such as Hewlett-Packard Co and Dell Inc debut flat-panel televisions and monitors as well as computers with audiovisual functions, bringing them into closer rivalry with consumer electronics makers such as Sony Corp and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co.

"With the rise of wireless networking, the home entertainment concept may be easier to sell," Bryan Ma, an IDC analyst in Singapore, said. "The PC makers have been trying to do this in the past five years with limited success" because consumers don't want to have a muddle of cables connecting devices in their living rooms, Ma said.

Intel will show the first working samples of a chip dubbed Grantsdale at the event, according to company spokeswoman Clare Chiu (邱麗孟). The chip will help increase the speed PCs can process data including games graphics and video.

Separately, Intel may miss its highest sales forecasts this quarter because demand isn't quite as high as expected, Merrill Lynch & Co analyst Joe Osha said.

Osha lowered his estimate for Intel's second-quarter sales by US$100 million to US$7.95 billion. Intel will update investors on its business so far Thursday, and Osha now predicts profit of US$0.26 a share, one cent less than his earlier estimate.

Demand for personal computers that use Intel's microprocessors doesn't justify the highest revenue estimates, Osha said in a note to clients. Intel chief financial officer Andy Bryant said in April that sales growth may slow to as little as 12 percent this period after exceeding 20 percent the last three quarters.

"We had previously expected sales to track better," Osha wrote. "Unit demand data don't support the higher numbers."

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