The introduction of smart televisions later this year will be as revolutionary as the switch to colour transmissions, according to Intel chief executive Paul Otellini.
Otellini said at Intel's annual investors day that the next generation of Atom processors will be embedded in a wide variety of devices, and that one of the most promising looks to be smart TVs.
The technology gives televisions the ability to be programmed via a standard operating system, and lets application developers add features.
"The TV revolution we are about to go through is the biggest change since the move to colour," said Otellini. "The usage model is going to fundamentally shift with the new capabilities of the platform."
Older televisions have barely a million lines of code running the entire device, he said, whereas smart TVs give programmers 10 times that amount and about three times the computing performance.
"A year from now, television will have been reinvented," said Eric Kim, senior vice president of Intel's digital home group.
A smart TV's operating system will be built around the Linux kernel and support Flash and OpenGL graphics. Content protection systems would also be built in.
Overall, Intel is looking to ship about 30 per cent of its output into the embedded systems market. The company highlighted digital signage, home energy management systems and in-car processing as growth markets.
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