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Saturday, December 31, 2005
Intel Set to 'Leap Ahead' in 2006


Intel next week will kiss its long-time logo goodbye and add a new catch-phrase to focus on platforms that address mobile, digital home, enterprise and health.

The original Intel logo with a lowered "e" will be replaced with an oval swirl surrounding the company's name, according to Intel spokesman Bill Calder.

The Santa Clara, Calif., company will also unveil "Intel. Leap ahead.", a new tagline to signify the company's growing commitment to offering customers the microprocessor, chipset and software, Calder said.

Intel Inside, a slogan embedded in the public's mind thanks to clever commercials with quirky celebrities such as The Blue Man Group, isn't going away. The company will retain a marketing program with that name to help helps PC makers like Dell and HP advertise products that use its chips.

"Intel has one of the most valuable brands in the world, and we intend to grow the value of our brand as we evolve the company," said Eric Kim, Intel senior vice president and general manager, in a statement.

"This evolution will allow Intel to be better recognized for our contributions, establish a stronger emotional connection with our audiences and strengthen our overall position in the marketplace."

The move is a bit of a double entendre as the leading chipmaker moves into 2006 with a mission to enable more digital media on PCs and other computing devices everywhere.

Calder said Intel has been gradually shifting in its approach to the market, which began with the development of the Intel Centrino mobile technology platform. The company reorganized itself around the platform model last year, and is now focused on mobile, digital home, enterprise and health markets.

In 2006, Leap Ahead should spark "Viiv", a new push that aims to blend PCs with home entertainment.

In a nod to consumers, Viiv PCs will emphasize ease of use, familiar remote control access devices and a kind of instant-on capability that Intel calls "quick resume." Expect Intel to try to push Viiv onto smartphones.

Calder also said that the heart of Viiv, a chip code-named Yonah, will be formally named Core Solo and Core Duo (to signify single and dual-core processors) and will be available next year.

The strategy, a departure from the company's chief emphasis on just the microprocessor, banks on the public's increasingly insatiable desire for ubiquitous computing. For example, computer users want to procure music, photos, movies and other types of content out of their computers.

Intel is seeking to capture this market before top rival AMD, which scored something of a coup by being first to fit PCs with 64-bit computing and multi-core processors.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini will unveil details of the campaign during next week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, which will include keynote speakers such as Microsoft luminary Bill Gates and Google co-founder Larry Page.

While Intel might want us to think Viiv is in in vogue, it's hardly a sign that chips on corporate computers are going by the wayside.

Thanks in part to innovations in multi-core and virtualization technology, worldwide sales of semiconductors surpassed $20 billion in October, up 6.75 percent from the $18.8 billion reported for October 2004, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association.


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