Light Reading

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
Against the odds, Huawei is growing its telecoms networking equipment business in the US -- that should be ringing some alarm bells for domestic vendors.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Metaswitch's New CEO Martin Lund Discusses His Role

9|2|15   |   11:27   |   (2) comments


Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers ...
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Nominum on Leveraging the Power of DNS to Deliver Superior Subscriber Experiences

9|2|15   |   07:13   |   (0) comments


Nominum CEO Gary Messiana talks about the challenges service providers face in competing for a much more sophisticated customer, a customer that has heightened expectations for more personalized and compelling digital experiences. Providers are focusing their efforts on delivering higher value subscriber services, retaining their existing customers and increasing ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Jeff Miller, ActiveVideo

8|28|15   |   19:05   |   (0) comments


Jeff Miller, President and CEO of ActiveVideo, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the impact of virtualization on the TV and video distribution market.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Vodafone: Mobile Money Is About Customer Trust

8|27|15   |   06.36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading spoke with Vodafone's Ian Ravenscroft about the unique responsibilities and opportunities facing operators handling customers' financial transactions over the network.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Palo Alto Networks on Expanding in the Carrier/Service Provider Market

8|26|15   |   07:54   |   (0) comments


Alfred Lee from Palo Alto Networks tells Steve Saunders about their new chassis-based system, the PA-7080, and how it can benefit service providers compared to legacy firewalls.
LRTV Custom TV
Global Services Forum Preview

8|25|15   |   02:36   |   (0) comments


Light Reading's CEO and Founder Steve Saunders talks about Huawei's upcoming Global Services Forum with the help of Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan and Teresa Mastrangelo.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Infoblox on DNS Threat Index

8|19|15   |   04:39   |   (0) comments


Dilip Pillaipakam from Infoblox talks to Steve Saunders about his company's core network services.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Ihab Tarazi, Equinix

8|14|15   |   20:18   |   (1) comment


Equinix CTO Ihab Tarazi talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the dramatic changes in the data center, cloud and interconnect markets and discusses the impact of SDN and NFV in the coming years.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
The Netformx Ecosystem

8|14|15   |   09:39   |   (1) comment


Ittai Bareket, CEO of Netformx, talks with Steve Saunders about the Netformx Ecosystem, which employs cutting-edge prescriptive analytics to help solution providers maximize profits.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Versa Networks on Leveraging VNFs

8|12|15   |   07:37   |   (0) comments


Kumar Mehta, founder and CEO of stealth mode startup Versa Networks, talks with Steve Saunders about how providers can best leverage virtualized network functions (VNFs).
LRTV Custom TV
Transforming the Network Through OPNFV

8|5|15   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Sandra Rivera, VP Data Center Group; GM Network Platforms Group, Intel Corporation, on OPNFV Arno and how the industry is coming together to accelerate the deployment of NFV and transform the network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei ONS Product Demo

8|3|15   |   6:01   |   (0) comments


Huawei shows at Open Networking Summit 2015 in Santa Clara how its SDN and NFV solutions embrace openness.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 16, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's cloud and virtualization portfolio can increase business agility and innovation by building a more flexible network architecture.
Hot Topics
T-Mobile CEO Plays Data Traffic Cop
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 8/31/2015
CEO Chat With Bill Gates
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 8/31/2015
Time to Monetize Cable WiFi
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 8/31/2015
New Apple TV: More $$, Not Content – Report
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 8/31/2015
Ex-AlcaLu Boss Tasked With Bolstering Altice
Iain Morris, News Editor, 9/1/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
September 16, 2015
Wi-Fi First or Second?
September 22, 2015
Media Begins With “Me”
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Technology industry veteran Martin Lund joins Metaswitch Networks this week as the company's new CEO. In this interview, Lund discusses his new role and the industry's progress with Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders. Lund believes that the industry disruption caused by SDN and NFV is creating opportunities for companies like Metaswitch – network software providers with the agility to embrace new technologies quickly and the ability to deliver on substantial projects for global network operators.
The scene: Last Saturday, lunchtime, the interior of a shi-shi-foo-foo eatery in Manhattan's SoHo district.
Cats with Phones
It's a New Age... Click Here
When smartphones replace stuffed animals.