Intel Corporation (INTC) Partners Hillcrest Labs For Set Top Boxes

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Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) partnered with Hillcrest Labs in developing its web-based motion control set-top-boxes based on Atom processor.

Hillcrest Labs’ patented Freespace in-air pointing and motion control technology will be integrated by Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) in its Media Server Reference Design (MSRD) kit with a handheld remote control, which enable subscribers to control their TV with a mouse lie navigation and point-and-click simplicity

Intel Corporation (INTC) Partners Hillcrest Labs For Set Top Boxes

According to Chad Lucien, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Hillcrest Labs, “Computers and smartphones have used motion-based, point-and-click interfaces for years because they are the most efficient way to navigate large volumes of content. Intel has seized onto this idea for TV, and is now driving innovation for serving TV service providers. We’re extremely proud that Intel has selected the Freespace MotionEngine for use in its new set-top box reference kits.”

Ran Senderovitz, general manager, service provider marketing division of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) recognized the leadership of Hillcrest Labs in motion-based TV software products and he said, “Operators are seeking better and innovative ways to help consumers find and navigate shows and applications. With Freespace, we’re creating an out-of-the box, motion-ready reference solution for operators and OEMs globally.”

The new MSRD of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) is a design kit for OEMs and system integrators that allows the quick development Intel-based set-top boxes and media servers using the Intel Atom processor CE5300.

On the other hand, Hillcrest Labs’ Freespace MotionEngine software is compatible with numerous CE devices including set-top boxes, Smart TVs, remote controls, game controllers, mobile handsets, PC peripherals, etc. The Freesapace technology is currently used in different Smart TV models from LG and TCL, as well as in Rokus streaming players.

Meanwhile, Vivek Arya, analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch expect that the first quarter sales of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) would come in a low-end of down 2% -10% guidance vs. current expectation of -6% decline due to the weakening PC demand in Asia particularly after the Chinese new year in February. The analyst expects the PC demand to decline by 15% QoQ. Arya also noted that the timing of Intel’s Haswell ramp could be a critical swing factor.

“We expect Haswell to enable sub 10W convertible ultrabooks and tablets with 8-10 hrs battery life, in line with ARM Holdings plc (NASDAQ:ARMH) (LON:ARM), but at performance levels closer to full-featured PCs. Haswell also adds a connected stand-by power state (SOi) to the x86 ecosystem, which brings mobile features to PCs  and lowers idle power by >10x and addresses Intel’s Achilles heels vs. ARM. While Intel’s Haswell pricing remains unclear, ultra thin (<15mm) notebooks built around Haswell could bring some buzz back to the PC ecosystem in 2H13.”

Arya also believed that the Intel’s 22nm quad core Bay Trial chip could enable a wider presence in the Windows 8 and Android tablets in the latter part of 2013, and expected the company’s pricing to be aggressive ($25-$40). The analysts also believed that the Haswell-based ultrabooks would reduce market confusion on Windows 8.

Arya recommended a buy rating for the stock of Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) with a price target of $28 per share.

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