Rumor: AT&T Rethinks Set-Top Chips
Broadcom completed Mediaroom client integration at the end of last year. To date, it is the only chipset vendor to have completed the process. Fellow SOC vendor Sigma Designs Inc. (Nasdaq: SIGM) powers AT&T's U-verse STBs, but even it isn't listed as an ecosystem partner of Microsoft.
The Broadcom SOC can enable advanced features for IPTV and, while 3D wasn't listed as one of them in the release on Broadcom's certification, the feature update is presumably the service driving AT&T's need for next-generation STBs.
At AT&T's media demos today in Atlanta, the carrier was showing off 3DTV, enabled through a software update, but the demo was only of programming. Any graphics, menus, or applications it'd want to include down the road would likely necessitate more computing power than today's chips can offer.
In April, Broadcom president and CEO Scott McGregor said he expects Broadcom-based IP STBs to begin shipping in volume in multiple top-tier carriers throughout the year. He also noted that Broadcom's 3D technology is in a leadership position in terms of bandwidth savings and maturity, "allowing MSOs, carriers, and consumer electronics brands to rapidly deploy products that offer 3DTV capability."
Of course, there are other Mediaroom customers across the globe that could be candidates for the Broadcom boxes too, but AT&T seems the most likely to our source, who has ties to set-top maker Motorola, a U-verse set-top supplier.
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile