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Advanced Micro Devices during the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) formally announced its AMD Live! program under which partners of the world’s second largest maker of microprocessors will manufacture media center personal computers with advanced set of capabilities for managing digital media.

Personal computers (PCs) branded as AMD Live! should run Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition and be able to stream music through their entertainment center, view and share photos on the TV, burn recorded TV shows, videos, music and pictures to a DVD or CD, or transfer this same content to a notebook, MP3, portable media player or personal digital assistant. AMD said such PCs will be powered by AMD Athlon 64 X2 processors and will be equipped with remote controllers.

Sunnyvale, California-based chipmaker did not unveil any particular initiatives regarding its Live! media center computers, but it is obvious that the main thing AMD will insist on is its processor inside the box. Unlike Intel with its Viiv, AMD will not force computer makers to acquire certain chipsets or install specifically developed software just to use the brand-name.

But such an approach mean that AMD Live! branded computers will not be able to perform certain functions out of the box, which means that customers acquiring such machines are not guaranteed to get the type of functionality they are looking forward. Potentially, AMD Live! PCs may not offer as lot of functionality as Intel Viiv computers will feature software that will allow to rent, download or purchase content or games; subscribe to services; edit photos or create videos. 

Companies like Alienware, ATI Technologies, Broadcom, Motorola, Nero, Nvidia and Via Technologies. It is expected that the first AMD Live! PCs will emerge in mid-2006.

Separately AMD announced collaboration with ST Microelectronics under which the two companies would develop technologies that will potentially add interactivity to television. The first step is a network-connected set-top box reference design based on ST’s new STB710x single chip solutions for set-top boxes. This combination is designed to deliver a world-class, high-definition (H.264, WM9), cable, satellite, terrestrial, or IP set-top box. When connected to a desktop or notebook PC via a home network, the TV experience can be transformed from traditional and “linear” to a new, interactive experience, the companies indicated.

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