Intel will accelerate WebM if it 'establishes itself'

When Google announced its WebM online video format last week, the list of companies on board was missing one big name: Intel. According to IDG News, however, the world's largest chipmaker hasn't ruled out WebM hardware acceleration in its integrated GPUs—it's just taking a wait-and-see approach for now:

"Just like we did with other codecs like MPEG2, H.264 & VC1, if VP8 establishes itself in the Smart TV space, we will add it to our [hardware] decoders," said Wilfred Martis, general manager for retail consumer electronics at Intel's Digital Home Group.

As IDG points out, Intel and Google are already collaborating on the Google TV initiative. Intel will supply Atom CE4100 system-on-a-chip devices for the first compatible televisions, Blu-ray players, and set-top boxes from Sony and Logitech, which are due out this fall.

Martis said the Atom CE4100 "will be able to decode and play back WebM files using software," although he added that hardware acceleration could enable both higher video quality and lower power consumption. To Intel's credit, WebM support remains in its infancy even on Google's own online video service, YouTube.

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