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Intel delays HDTV chip

Intel has postponed the launch of a video display chip it had previously planned to introduce by the end of 2004, putting off a showdown with Texas Instruments, in the fast-growing market for high-definition television displays.

Intel spokeswoman Laura Anderson told Reuters last week that the company had decided to improve picture quality before introducing the product, called liquid crystal on silicon, or LCoS. She declined to specify a new date for releasing the product.

The delay adds to a string of missed deadlines by Intel, whose timelines for product roll-outs are relied upon by electronics makers around the world.

LCoS is one of three competing technologies for large-screen rear projection televisions, which are thinner than standard cathode-ray tube sets and generally less expensive than sleek plasma-based television sets that have become a must-have gadget among some technology enthusiasts.

An estimated 1.3 million rear-projection sets were sold last year, and another 2.7 million sets are expected to be sold this year, according to Insight Media, which publishes a newsletter on micro displays.

Today, that market is mostly shared by Texas Instruments, which has turned its Digital Light Processing technology into a major venture, and Sony, which has taken a strong market position with liquid crystal-based rear-projection sets.

Intel was to be the third major entrant, adopting a less market-tested technology that combines a liquid crystal panel with a silicon-based microchip. Intel saw in LCoS a way to improve picture quality in the same manner that it increases the speed of its computer chips.

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