Personal Tech Pipeline | Intel Taps Tiny Startup For Mobile TV

White Papers

Sponsor Resources

WebCasts
Free Newsletter GlossaryContact UsAbout Us
Players & CamsPhones & PDAsHome & AutoOnline

August 29, 2005

Intel Taps Tiny Startup For Mobile TV



Courtesy of EE Times

MADISON, Wis. — DiBcom SA, a small French startup, will ally with Intel Corp. to add mobile TV to Intel's Centrino and Xscale platforms.

DiBcom comes armed with the industry's most thoroughly tested mobile digital TV chips, capable of 24-Mbit/second error-free digital reception at 150 miles per hour. The deal, to be announced today, will see Intel Capital, Intel's venture capital arm, invest an undisclosed sum in DiBcom, founded in 2000.

By aligning itself with Intel, DiBcom is expected, in the near term, to get a substantial advantage over its competitors in the growing portable digital TV/PC market. By its own account, DiBcom is predicting that almost all laptop PCs will have digital TV reception capabilities by 2008.

Intel also gives DiBcom a needed financial boost so the startup can joust with a host of giant chip vendors seeking to integrate mobile digital TV into cell phones. DiBcom's competitors in the increasingly torrid DVB-H (digital video broadcast-handheld) chip market include Texas Instruments, Freescale, Philips Semiconductors, Samsung and STMicroelectronics.

DiBcom CEO Yannick Levy said he hopes Intel's investment will emulate the successful course of corporate and market development for CSR, a British Bluetooth chip developer. Some see Intel's investment in CSR in 2000 as a key to CSR's success. Intel's interest in CSR has made Bluetooth more widespread in the linkage of PCs, notebooks, PDAs and phones.

DiBcom raised $30 million in its recent round of funding, including investment from Intel Capital, UMC, Partech, 3i and WI Harper. Levy said the UMC investment is also strategic, because it helps guarantee cost and manufacturing capacity for DiBcom's chips, as DiBcom's customers plan to integrate DVB-H solutions in a massive number of mobile phones.

The DiBcom investment also aligns with Intel's ambitions. The chip giant is intent on bringing entertainment to the PC platform. Intel is also putting a lot of resources behind efforts to crash the emerging market for mobile phones equipped with TV-on-mobile features.

At the Intel Developer Forum, a notebook computer and a PDA were shown receiving a live digital TV feed, transmitted via satellite. Its creator was Crown Castle Mobile Media in Pittsburgh, which operates an ongoing DVB-H trial using the 1.672-GHz L-band. The demonstration used Microtune's miniature RF tuner and DiBcom's DVB-H demodulation chip connected to a notebook PC via USB and to a PDA via a secure digital connection.

To integrate DiBcom's DVB-T/DVB-H demodulation into Intel's PC and mobile platforms, "we may have to make some changes on our chips," said Levy.

When one looks at the natural history of semiconductors, it suggests there is the risk that DiBcom's technology might be swallowed up by Intel's platforms — whether PCs or mobile handsets.

But Levy said, "I'm not too worried." He pointed out that mobile phones today are morphing into small PCs. A mobile handset contains a CPU, graphics chips and front-end chips, just like a PC. "Just as it doesn't make sense to get an Ethernet modem integrated into a CPU, things like Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and DVB-H will remain as separate components in a handset," he said.

E-mail This Story
Print This Story
Reprint This Story




Get the latest Personal Tech news, product info, and trends every week.


Related Content

  Right-click and choose Copy to extract RSS Feed URL  Personal Tech Pipeline's Main RSS Feed
  Right-click and choose Copy to extract RSS Feed URL  Personal Tech Pipeline's Blog RSS Feed



Keeping Up To Date On Enterprise Server Tech?
Review our compilation of columns on server security, database software, and Linux issues.
Unleash the Power & Opportunity of Grid Computing
Experts will identify trends in grid computing, provide
examples and examine solution options.
Using Current Performance to Shape
Future Results

Hear new strategies for improving business
performance and results.

Editor's Picks

Well, Microsoft has "unfolded" its "Origami" ultra-mobile PC platform Thursday. It turned out to be a full-featured PC smaller than a tablet but bigger than a PDA. Are you impressed?
Yes! I want one!
Sort of. We'll see.
No! It's too big for a pocket and too small for real computing. What's the point?


In search of personal tech products? See our new Product Finder, where you'll find personal computing devices, communications solutions, security products, and more.



PERSONAL TECH PIPELINE MARKETPLACE (sponsored links)
On the CIO Agenda with IBM
With business growth back on the agenda, the role of the CIO is changing from manager of technology to C-suite collaborator in enabling innovation that matters for the business. Read an executive summary and register to download the full IBM paper.

Symantec Backup Solutions
Desktop to Data Center Protection. Explore the Official Symantec Site.

Four Points of Network Convergence
The convergence of networking technologies today is creating powerful new ways for enterprises to improve�their performance. Access a series of white papers to learn how developing a roadmap can benefit your enterprise.

Block or Secure IM Use
IM threats up 250%. Protect your corporate network. Free Download.

Increase Compliance with ReconNET from Trintech
Trintech�s automated reconciliation, research and cash management solution gives you control over your accounting and treasury lifecycle so you can comply with financial accountability, audit and reporting requirements like the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.


Buy a Link Now


Top ten search terms from the TechWeb TechEncyclopedia
The powerful new Sun FireTM T2000 server. Try it risk-free for 60 days. a>
Mobilized Solutions Guide: Find and compare solutions for your business
Top Requested White Paper Categories from TechWeb White paper Library
Top ten search terms from the TechWeb TechEncyclopedia