Intel teams up with Chinese gaming giant

Intel Corp. and Shanghai Shanda Networking Co. Ltd., China's largest provider of online games, have teamed up to develop a platform for interactive entertainment and online games, the companies said Tuesday.

Shanda offers a portfolio of massively multiplayer online games in China, which allow thousands of players to interact with each other in an online world, including Legend of Mir II, World of Legend, and The Sign.

Under the terms of a memorandum of understanding signed between the two companies, Intel and Shanda will cooperate on developing ways of delivering interactive entertainment and games to PCs, set-top boxes and mobile phones, according to a joint statement.

As part of the agreement, Intel and Shanda will establish a testing and innovation center for the development of client technology, infrastructure and content for the online entertainment business, the statement said.

The deal with Shanda is part of Intel's digital-home initiative, which is focused on extending access to digital media files and online content, including games, beyond desktop and notebook PCs to other types of devices, such as set-top boxes and entertainment PCs.

In addition, Intel and Shanda will look at how to migrate Shanda's data center infrastructure to servers based on Intel's Xeon and Itanium 2 processors, it said.

Shanda currently operates 9,500 servers with a maximum capacity to accommodate around 3.3 million concurrent users, according to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission which did not specify the specific types of servers operated by the company. During the first quarter of 2004, Shanda had an average of 931,570 concurrent users playing its online games, the filing said.

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