Light Reading

Will Intel Go Inside Cable Multimedia Gateways?

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
9/25/2009
50%
50%

Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) appears to be targeting a new breed of cable multimedia gateway devices with the Atom CE4100, a new media processor that's aimed at digital TVs, DVD players, and "advanced set-top boxes."

Intel says the new chip -- the first 45nm SoC (system on a chip) based on the chipmaker's architecture, formerly codenamed "Sodaville" -- is designed to support both Internet and broadcast applications. It will also gain some over-the-top, Web TV flair as Intel ports Adobe Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: ADBE)'s Flash Player 10 to the chipset in the first half of next year, optimizing it for H.264 video and the playback of high-end graphics. (See Intel Unveils Internet TV Chip.)

The Atom CE4100, due out in 2011, is backward-compatible with the CE3100, a processor that the chipmaker has been using to operate some recent tru2way set-top/gateway demos.

Among very recent examples, Intel showed off at its developer conference in San Francisco this week a tru2way-based server/home-gateway design with three tuners capable of turning incoming cable video content into streams that can be shuttled to, and read by, IPTV set-tops and other IP-based clients hanging off a high-speed home network. In that scenario, only the primary gateway box, and not every device feeding off it, would require a CableCARD to authorize digital video services, removing some big costs out of the equation.

Using a tru2way middleware stack from Vividlogic , the gateway demo was running Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s "Buckeye" interactive program guide (IPG) on one TV, while another set-top grabbing content from that same gateway was using the Moxi guide from Digeo Inc. . (See Digeo Gives Arris Multimedia Gateway Potential and Arris Digs Digeo .)

"Comcast is certainly looking at this kind of gateway architecture," the Intel cable marketing director noted in the video demo, but stressed that "others are also looking at this."

Comcast has shown some eagerness to introduce Flash to the set-top environment. And it has shown some love for Intel. In June 2007, the MSO said it was "committed to bring one or more Intel SOC-based digital set-top boxes to market in the next two years." (See Comcast Offers Glimpse of Flash Strategy and Intel Goes Inside Cable... Again.)

As for Intel's tru2way gateway work, the company official told Engadget that Intel expects to see field trials and tests to get underway next year, with deployments not expected until 2011. Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) also mentioned this timeframe yesterday when it discussed its plans for the Digeo acquisition and the eventual introduction of multimedia cable gateways that would support a blend of IP video, voice, and data services.

Intel was not immediately available for comment about whether it intends to use the CE4100 in any future tru2way-based gateway designs, but a cable engineering executive with a top-five U.S. MSO told Cable Digital News that the new processor "could be a lower-cost, better alternative than the 3100 to support that kind of product."

Intel won't be making the final cable gateway products, but it will be marketing its design to cable set-top makers, a move that could loosen Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM)'s hold on that market.

But who's going to step up and develop do-it-all cable gateways that also put Intel inside? The Intel release announcing the CE4100 identified Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) among the companies working with Intel "to advance content, services and infrastructure for connected CE devices." But Cisco wasn't ready to spill all the beans on its cable product strategies.

"Intel and Cisco share a common vision for the future of video, and the announcement of the CE4100 Atom processor is a big step in that direction of bringing a unified video experience consistent with our medianet strategy," said Murali Nemani, Cisco's service provider solutions marketing director, in a statement to Cable Digital News. "Cisco cannot comment on the specifics on our portfolio at this stage."

Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), meanwhile, confirmed that the current version of a QAM-IP "transport gateway" it showed off at the recent IBC show in Amsterdam is not using Intel or Broadcom silicon, but instead powering it with chips from Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TXN) and Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: MRVL).

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News




Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to TelcoTV 2009, the telecom industry’s premier event for the exploration of a comprehensive entertainment convergence strategy, to be staged in Orlando, Fla., November 10-12. For more information, or to register, click here.


(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyeing SDN for Headend, Home Uses

5|26|15   |   05:57   |   (1) comment


CableLabs is looking at virtualizing CMTS and CCAP devices in the headend, as well as in-home devices, says CableLabs' Karthik Sundaresan.
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Procera has gathered facts, stats and customer experience feedback from a survey of 540 users from across the globe.
Hot Topics
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Bidding War for TWC Looks Likelier
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/22/2015
Charter Seals Deals for TWC, Bright House
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/26/2015
Eurobites: Alcatel-Lucent Trials 400G in Czech Republic
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 5/26/2015
Comcast Targets 6 New Gigabit Markets
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/21/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
On May 29th 10 AM ET, Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, will be drilling into the "pains and gains" of NFV with Saar Gillai, SVP & GM for NFV at Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) (HP). He has defined a four-step NFV model describing a sequence of technology innovation. It's a must-read doc for any network architect looking to get to grips with their NFV migration strategy. Join us for the interview, and the chance to ask Saar your NFV questions directly!
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
Cats with Phones