& 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
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
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
4.5G Evolution: Peter Zhou on Advanced MIMO Technologies & 5G Business Prep

2|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


In the process of service transformation, operators need to catch three major opportunities and start deploying in 4.5G networks, such as video, household broadband access and digital transformation of vertical industries. 5G is coming. Operators don't need to wait for it to happen but should progressively deploy 4.5G networks by introducing 5G-oriented ...
LRTV Custom TV
What WTTX Can Deliver

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour explains the benefits of WTTX while Dimitris Mavrakis discusses the challenges of delivering home broadband access.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei on Mobile Broadband

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour shares his vision on MBB for the next three years.
LRTV Custom TV
Analysys Mason Talks About the Future of Digital Operations

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


The future of digital operations has three key aspects: 1. Highly automated operations for both service and network; 2. Highly converged BSS/OSS for business and resources; 3. Highly merged management and control for real-time cloud native operations.
LRTV Interviews
Software Trends in the Telecom Sector

2|23|17   |   03:40   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading senior analyst James Crawshaw talks with Telecoms.com Editorial Director Scott Bicheno about trends and developments in the telecoms software sector and what to expect at MWC 2017.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei's Pre-MWC Analyst Briefing 2017 Highlights

2|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shares its vision for this year's MWC.
LRTV Interviews
MWC17: 5G, Cloud RAN & More

2|21|17   |   04:35   |   (0) comments


Ovum Senior Analyst Julian Bright talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about all things MWC, including Cloud RAN, Huawei's pitch to the industry and the road to 5G.
LRTV Interviews
MWC 2017's Key 2-Letter Terms

2|20|17   |   08:29   |   (1) comment


5G, AI, VR... these are just some of the two-letter terms that will dominate show-floor chat at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, according to these two blow-hards (a.k.a. Scott Bicheno of Telecoms.com and Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre). And then there's PB...
LRTV Interviews
Key Trends for Mobile Operators in Developing Markets

2|20|17   |   06:37   |   (0) comments


Ovum's Matthew Reed talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about the challenges and opportunities facing mobile operators in the developing markets of Africa and the Middle East.
LRTV Documentaries
YouTube Takes on Facebook Live-Streaming

2|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Popular 'YouTubers' will be the first to get the new service on their smartphones. You have been warned.
LRTV Custom TV
Open Source NFV/SDN Automation

2|17|17   |   05:54   |   (0) comments


AT&T ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy) code is transitioning into the Linux Foundation for placement into open source. In this video, Carol Wilson provides an update on the maturation of open source ECOMP and meets with industry leaders from AT&T, Bell Canada, Orange, Linux Foundation and Amdocs to discuss what this means for the ...
LRTV Documentaries
Uber & NASA Collaborate on Flying Car Project

2|16|17   |     |   (0) comments


Is Uber for real? Well, it's hired NASA engineer Mark Moore to lead the project, and he wouldn't come cheap.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, 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
Uber's HR Nightmare: Company Investigates Sexual Harassment Claims
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 2/21/2017
Broadband Has a Problem on the Pole
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/21/2017
Verizon to Start Fixed 5G Customer Trials in April
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
Sprint to Go Gigabit Crazy at MWC!
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
MANO Marriage: ECOMP, Open-O Converge as ONAP
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 2/23/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
No One Likes This Click Here
Take a hint!
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.