Alienware Powers Up Home Cinema System With AMD 'Live' Chips - InformationWeek

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Alienware Powers Up Home Cinema System With AMD 'Live' Chips

The consumer electronic device is a first for AMD, which is broadening its rivalry against Intel's Viiv technology.

PC-maker Alienware on Tuesday introduced a new computer system based on Advanced Micro Devices' first dedicated home entertainment processor package.

The Hangar18 HD Entertainment Center was built by the Dell subsidiary along with other software, and component partners. Starting price for the console is $1,9999.

The Alienware system, which is available only in North America, is based on the Athlon 64 X2 dual-core chip, and incorporates a high-definition digital video recorder, up to four TV tuners, a surround-sound stereo receiver with built-in 200-watt amplifier, a DVD/CD player and burner, and up to 2 terabytes of hard-drive storage. "It's not intended to have the look and feel of a PC," AMD spokeswoman Jo Albers, told InformationWeek. "It's designed to operate through a remote control."

When used in a consumer electronic device, the Home Cinema system is meant to deliver devices that consolidate into one product many of the audio-visual components found in the living room, Albers said.

AMD and rival Intel are moving aggressively in the consumer electronics market, which is a potential bonanza for future devices using the vendors' x86 chips. Intel in April unveiled a variety of processors and related technology that reflected an aggressive development roadmap spanning PCs, computer servers and consumer electronics.

A variety of Home Cinema-based systems are expected to be available this year from consumer electronic and PC manufacturers, Albers said, declining to name the products. Manufacturers can tailor the platform to support a variety of components, including D2Audio digital amplifiers, ASUS and MSI motherboards, ATI TV Wonder digital cable tuners, and ATI Radeon or NVIDIA graphics processors.

The Home Cinema system is AMD's first PC desktop specifically for home entertainment systems, Albers said. The system is based on the AMD Live Home Cinema system, which was unveiled a year ago at the Computex trade show in Taiwan.

AMD recently showed off its Live chip package at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The company said designs using its Live entertainment package will augment desktop PCs powered with an AMD Athlon 64 X2, and notebooks with a Turion 64 X2 processor.

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