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Intel, Kodak focus on digital shots

Intel and Kodak are attempting to establish standards that make it easier for PC buyers to use all the equipment they need for digital photography.

Intel (INTC) and Kodak announced that they will work together to make digital photography on the PC more accessible to consumers.

The joint undertaking will attempt to establish standards that make it easier for PC buyers to use all the equipment they need for digital photography, according to both companies.

Marketing research companies such as International Data Corporation are forecasting that the digital still-camera market is projected to grow to 15 million units annually by the year 2000.

"We want to take [digital photography] out of the experimental stage and into the consumer access stage...and make it easy to hook up cameras to PCs," said Craig Barrett, chief operating officer at Intel.

"While users can purchase digital cameras, scanners, and printers today, obstacles such as varying file formats, storage formats...prevent many of them from easily exchanging or printing files," Barrett added in a separate written statement.

The standards push will revolve around a number of technologies from both companies including Kodak's FlashPix photography format technology and the Kodak Picture Network, a set of digital photography services provided by Kodak. The FlashPix technology will now be optimized for MMX for better performance, the companies said.

For its part, Intel will offer the Universal Serial Bus, MMX, and Flash Miniature Card technologies. USB is a high-speed connection for PC peripheral equipment such as digital cameras; MMX is Intel's Pentium- and Pentium II-based technology for speeding up graphics and communications applications; and the Flash Miniature Card is a matchbook-sized card for holding digital pictures.

(Intel is an investor in CNET: The Computer Network.)