Intel Focuses on Tablets, Winds Down Digital Home Groupby Anand Lal Shimpi on October 10, 2011 11:20 PM EST
Intel's Digital Home Group (DHG) is responsible for the consumer electronics versions of the Atom SoC family. Last year we saw the launch of the Boxee Box and Google TV, both based on the Intel DHG's CE4100 Atom SoC. At the time Intel had grand plans for the Atom CE line, however today things have changed.
The DHG as we knew it is no more. Intel will continue to focus on CE applications of its SoCs however it will focus exclusively on the IP set-top media processor and gateway/cable businesses. Intel's information is somewhat vague but it's my understanding that the Digital TV processor business is what's being axed, and this is the group that ultimately sold into Boxee/Google TV.
The engineers working in the DHG have since been folded up into the newly formed tablet organization under Doug Davis. The folks working on the Atom CE parts arguably had even more mindshare penetration than those working on the smartphone/tablet Atom SoCs, so the move can only be a good one as the two groups will be able to combine expertise and experience.
This move could also be a sign of things to come. Intel sees synergy between the tablet and the TV. Perhaps Intel sees the future of Boxee Box/Google TV offerings as being driven by a tablet rather than a stationary set-top box? It seems odd at first glance for sure, since there's obviously a benefit to having something permanent outside of your TV. But if you've already got a cable box, maybe a tablet is a better way to extend its functionality rather than adding another box to the stack.
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jrocks84 - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - linkI see people gradually ditching cable and eventually using video streaming services almost exclusively (in the very-long term), and I guess Intel sees the same.
Impulses - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - linkIf that were the case, they'd be betting as much on cheap streaming boxes as on tablets to accompany existing services... Frankly I see this as a win for the stronghold of cable and satellite operators.
Streaming services aren't going anywhere without a) simple intuitive set top boxes or smart TVs that can handle ALL services and access all content, we're quite a ways from that b) the backend to sustain them, we're also going in the wrong direction here with bandwidth caps and such c) some unification so people don't need to subscribe to three or four services to get all their content.
Anyone that watches more than one sport and a modicum of cable content is still very poorly served by streaming services...
martyrant - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - linkI don't think it's all that far fetched to see in the next few years the tablets actually being the means of streaming it to the TV (via a cheap extender or directly from mini HDMI to HDMI). It would be nice to simply pick up a tablet, use it as the remote and it actually have the capabilities (either through some sort of wireless or wired extender to the TV--you could essentially do this already with any that have mini HDMI and a 25' HDMI cable or a house wired up with HDMI in the walls).
augiem - Wednesday, October 12, 2011 - linkTablet to stream to TV? That sounds a little backwards. The TV can fit far more powerful hardware inside and easily stream stuff to tablets and computers.
dave1231 - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - linkDoesn't surprise me that Intel are to focus on tablets. But where Intel goes, will Anand follow?
jah1subs - Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - linkI remember seeing an advertisement on my Comcast connected TV in which a tablet, perhaps an iPad is being used as a remote control. I only have basic service and a single laptop, so I don't know if this really is a current product.
A tablet, in almost any size, can make an excellent TV remote control. It probably has even lower power requirements than a Boxee or something similar.
zhangqq - Monday, October 31, 2011 - linkhttp://ygn.me/bTf7p