& cplSiteName &

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
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Documentaries
All Change in Video

2|11|16   |   33:12   |   (1) comment


At this moderated panel at 2020 Vision in Dublin, Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader of Light Reading, sits down with Jeff Finkelstein, director of network architecture at Cox Communications, to discuss the rapidly changing video market.
LRTV Custom TV
Hosting in Ireland, Past & Present

2|10|16   |   16:07   |   (0) comments


Garry Connolly, president of Host in Ireland, presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
What's Hot in Mobile Commerce?

2|10|16   |   12:18   |   (1) comment


Claire Maslen, financial services relationship manager at the GSMA, talks about the development of the digital commerce sector and the types of relationships that mobile operators are developing to further their m-commerce strategies.
LRTV Documentaries
EANTC Tests Nokia IP Routing & Mobile Gateway VNFs for Real World Deployment

2|9|16   |   5:08   |   (1) comment


Nokia obtained validation of its virtualized router and virtualized mobile gateway capabilities through rigorous testing performed by EANTC. The results set a new industry benchmark for outstanding performance, scalability, resiliency and manageability. Nokia VNFs are ready for telco cloud deployment, so that service providers can accelerate mobile, business and ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Level 3's Jack Waters

2|8|16   |   26:15   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
LRTV Custom TV
The Composable Telco

2|8|16   |   24:46   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Principal Analyst Caroline Chappell presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Yahoo & Verizon Sitting in a Tree...
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 2/8/2016
AT&T Lights Fire Under 5G, Plans 2016 Trials
Iain Morris, News Editor, 2/12/2016
Vodafone: Flexible Work Policies Boost Profits
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/8/2016
It's Time to Integrate OTT Video
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/8/2016
Andreessen Facepalms on Facebook Free Basics
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 2/10/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.