& cplSiteName &

Intel Snares TI's Cable Modem Business

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
8/16/2010
50%
50%

Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) shook up the Docsis world today with a deal to acquire Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TXN)'s cable modem product line, a category that includes chipsets that power a new breed of Docsis 3.0-powered data modems, voice modems, and home networking gateways.

Intel isn't disclosing financial terms of the deal, but the purchase will put more competitive pressure on one of Intel's chief rivals, Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM), which has been battling with TI on the Docsis chipset front for more than a decade. (See Intel to Buy TI's Cable Modem Unit.)

The purchase offers yet another clear indication that Intel has gotten serious with a cable strategy as MSOs and its suppliers start to develop more advanced Docsis-based devices that enable whole-home networking and the co-mingling of voice, data, and video services.

Among recent activity, Intel has been starting to target upcoming cable multimedia gateway devices with its Atom CE4100, a new media processor for digital TVs, DVD players, and "advanced set-top boxes." That chip, due out sometime next year, is designed to be backward-compatible with the CE3100, a processor that Intel's been using to run some recent tru2way set-top/gateway demos that leverage the Vividlogic (now SeaChange International Inc. (Nasdaq: SEAC)) tru2way middleware stack. Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is one of the MSOs already committed to use boxes that rely on Intel's system-on-chip (SoC) technology. (See Will Intel Go Inside Cable Multimedia Gateways? , SeaChange Snags VividLogic for $12M, and Intel Goes Inside Cable... Again.)

Intel didn't go into much detail in the announcement, but did note that it indeed plans to combine TI's "Puma" Docsis chip product lines with Intel's Atom-based SoC processors that, the chipmaker hopes, will serve as the foundation of a range of CE devices, including TVs, set-tops, and Blu-ray players.

"The objective is to provide cable OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) with an open and powerful platform for delivering innovative and differentiated products to service providers that improve the video, voice and data content experience in the home," Intel said.

Intel said it has offered all employees of TI's cable modem team to join Intel at sites in their home countries, primarily Israel. A TI spokeswoman says TI employs about 40 in its cable division. Those who take the option will join Intel's Digital Home Group when the deal closes, expected sometime in the fourth quarter of 2010.

In TI, Intel is acquiring a cable modem specialist that has been integral to the development of Docsis technologies all the way to its current version, Docsis 3.0. Intel got off to a faster start with Docsis 3.0 as its chips powered the first wideband modems to be certified by CableLabs , starting off with gear modems that used a minimum configuration of four bonded upstream and four downstream channels. It surpassed more than 1 million D3 chipsets shipped back in January 2009. TI declined to provide any updated D3 shipment figures. (See Broadcom Breaks Docsis 3.0 Barrier and Broadcom: Sub-$50 Docsis 3.0 Modem in Sight .)

Broadcom and TI have since developed configurations that bond up to eight channels, including some products that allow some channels to be set aside for cable video services. As multimedia, video-focused gateways enter the picture, future chipsets are expected to bond 16 or 32 downstream channels -- enough capacity for MSOs to simulcast their broadcast video lineups in IP format. (See TI Flexes Docsis 3.0 Muscle .)

Bridge to the video gateway
The purchase certainly gives Intel a chair at the Docsis table, but it makes even more strategic sense for the chip giant now that cable operators are proposing to collapse video, data, and voice into a single gateway device, says Jeff Heynen, directing analyst of broadband video at Infonetics Research Inc.

The gateway concept "plays into Intel's strength with video chipsets and PC processors and [enhances it] when combined with TI's experience on the DSP side as well as with modem chipsets," Heynen says. "The timing is good because the refresh of [Docsis] CPE to add in those video capabilities is for the late stages of next year, and will likely take off in 2012 and beyond."

Heavy Reading senior analyst Alan Breznick thinks the deal will be "a real shot in the arm for the old TI unit and re-galvanize its efforts in the broadband chipset space."

He echoed that the deal will also position Intel for the next wave of home-side cable gear.

"And it should spur the development and deployment of Docsis set-top boxes and multimedia gateways, as well as the introduction of Docsis into more standard CE products," Breznick says. (See Gateway to (Video) Heaven?)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:26:39 PM
re: Intel Snares TI's Cable Modem Business


Given that just 40 of TI's employee base was dedicated to this business, it wasn't a huge piece of TI's biz and, on its own, won't put a dent into Intel's either.  But Intel is clearly buying this to rev up its broader video gateway initiatives.  And it sets things up for a big battle between Broadcom and Intel in the next phase of cable chip war.  JB

From The Founder
Either we perform a complete 'factory reset' on the way the telecom industry creates and deploys virtualization, or we face the consequences.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
The Urgency of Commercial 5G Services

4|26|17   |     |   (0) comments


The progress of 5G has been closely monitored in the industry. At the 2017 Brooklyn 5G Summit, the sense of urgency for a commercial 5G launch had started to surface among operators.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
How Diversity Helps Comcast Mirror Its Customer Base

4|26|17   |   2:55   |   (0) comments


Diversity brings innovation, creative ideas and a way to reflect the broad spectrum of your customer base, Comcast Director of Customer Experience Jenelle Champlin says.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mobile Operators & Video

4|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


Ovum's Ed Barton discusses the latest mobile operator strategies for mobile video.
LRTV Custom TV
Infinera Introduces Instant Network

4|20|17   |     |   (1) comment


Mike Capuano, vice president of marketing at Infinera, discusses the advancement from Instant Bandwidth to new Instant Network capabilities, which include Bandwidth License Pools, Moveable Licenses and Automated Capacity Engineering (ACE).
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Vodafone's Eubank on Sponsors, Mentors & Moving On Up

4|19|17   |   4:25   |   (0) comments


Vodafone America's Head of Operations Kimberly Eubank breaks down the difference between a sponsor and a mentor and shares why both made a big difference in her career.
LRTV Custom TV
NYC Auto Show: Are We Smart Yet?

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


The auto industry is facing some big transformations as electric vehicles, autonomous technology and connected cars are seen as the future of the industry. During the much-anticipated NY international auto show, there was an emergence of new technology and mobility service on the show floor. Aside from performance, brands like Lincoln, Hyundai, Honda, Mercedes and ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Impact of Video

4|18|17   |     |   (0) comments


David Mercer from Strategy Analytics discusses the impact of video on current strategies.
LRTV Custom TV
Pardeep Kohli Discusses Network Transformation & the Market Opportunity for the 'New' Mavenir Systems

4|13|17   |     |   (0) comments


In a brief discussion at MWC 2017, Heavy Reading analyst Adi Kishore talks to Pardeep Kohli, CEO, Mavenir Systems about the creation of the 'new Mavenir' and some of the key challenges facing operators in today's market. A key theme of the discussion centers around operator need for software-only, virtualized solutions and how they will need to adapt to ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Tech Maverick Shares Her Tips for Gender Inclusivity

4|12|17   |   7:28   |   (0) comments


Wendy Hall Bohling, a corporate escapee, author and gender exclusivity consultant, tells her story of sexism, bias and progress along the road to gender equality in the workforce.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei at MWC 2017

4|11|17   |     |   (0) comments


At Mobile World Congress 2017, the biggest mobile industry gathering of the year, Huawei showcased its new innovations and solutions with the theme "Open Road," which focuses on cloud, 5G, operation transformation, videos and consumer-oriented products. Its campaign has been recognized by three awards given by GSMA.
LRTV Custom TV
China Telecom NFV Infrastructure on RSD

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Lynn Comp, senior director of market development of Intel, is joined by Chong Zhang, storage engineer at Inspur and Ou Li Yan, architect for technology strategies of China Telecom, for a discussion of what NFV brings.
LRTV Custom TV
Nokia's IMPACT Software Demo

4|6|17   |     |   (0) comments


Khamis Abulgubein of IoT market development at Nokia demonstrates IMPACT (intelligent management platform for all connected things), a software solution with a horizontal approach to managing any device on any application.
Upcoming Live Events
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Brazos Hall - Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Surprise! AT&T Markets 4G Advances as '5G Evolution'
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/25/2017
Did Verizon Outbid AT&T for Straight Path?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 4/25/2017
First Year TIPs the Scale Toward Success
Denise Culver, 4/24/2017
Netflix Set to Enter China
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 4/25/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
One of the nice bits of my job (other than the teeny tiny salary, obviously) is that I get to pick and choose who I interview for this slot on the Light Reading home ...
TEOCO Founder and CEO Atul Jain talks to Light Reading Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the challenges around cost control and service monetization in the mobile and IoT sectors.
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.