Chips Ahoy


The computer hardware industry seems ready for a paradigm shift. Intel’s PRAM sampling is next month, and the effects of this are that we will enjoy even lower prices on current flash memory and a compelling speed improvement ready to replace it. No doubt this stuff will benefit the pretty much everything Apple makes.

There is a rumor going around that Apple is looking at adding a $50 H.264 codec chip to their hardware, maybe in their computers, the iTV, who knows. Why wouldn’t they, I ask? Why HAVEN’T they done this already? Or maybe we’ll see a 1.99 H.264 Chip enabler, but it ships with iTV ’08.

While not a chip by itself, but the multitouch display is powered by a few unknown chips. It seems to get more and more attention the closer June gets to us. Doesn’t all of these seem like a powerful combination for high speed entertainment viewing and creating systems? Wouldn’t they seem in line with the digital media strategy? Let the imaginations run wild, what do TAB readers think these chips and displays will power in the year ahead?



The chip rumors is about H.264 *encoding*. The upcoming GPU chips (even the Intel GMA X3000) will all support H.264 *de*coding acceleration.


I couldn’t really care less about the H.264 chips since by the time they are mainstream enough and heavily taken advantage of we will probably be on to the next big format.

As far as multitouch screens I think the iPod is the obvious place to include that feature next but I would love to see it included in a Macbook Pro Tablet form factor as long as it also supports pen input and a decent level of pressure sensitivity (unlike the Modbook).

Mac vs PC

As for the H.264 chips they will probably make their way into anything that can play video from iPods to MacBooks to Apple TV. The MultiTouch screen also makes sense for most Apple products. Might take a Bit of getting used to but will quickly become one of those things you just can’t live without…

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