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Intel Goes Further Inside Cable

Light Reading
10/3/07, Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

Another chipmaker has joined the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA), and it's a doozy: Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC - message board).

The silicon giant has joined MoCA as a contributor member, giving it the licenses necessary to develop chips that support a coax-based scheme that shuttles data, including hi-definition video, over a home network at a theoretical 270 Mbit/s. The multi-room digital video recorder is one of its primary applications, with Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ - message board) among the technology's early adopters.

MoCA, which counts Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and EchoStar Communications Corp. as founding members, competes in the market with other wire-based platforms such as HomePlug A/V and HomePNA 3.1, which was approved as a standard by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) in February.

"Intel has been instrumental in driving the development and establishment of standards in home connectivity," said MoCA president Charles Cerino, in a release. Cerino is also serves as Comcast's vice president of new media development.

Joining MoCA marks Intel's latest cable-related technology strategy. In June, Intel signed on to support OpenCable, a platform that aims to give the cable industry a uniform set-top technology footprint and a path toward a retail market for digital set-top boxes. At the time, Intel said the agreement will allow it to develop OpenCable-based chips for digital TVs, set-tops, digital media recorders, and other "networked" devices. (See Intel Goes Inside Cable... Again and Cable Intel-ligence.)

The OpenCable Platform is also angling to become the basis of a two-way, plug-and-play agreement for a new breed of digital TVs, though some comsumer electronics interests are proposing a different system called DCR+. (See Two-Way Battle Reaches FCC.)

Intel is the latest chipmaker to join MoCA. In addition to founding member Entropic Communications Inc. , other semiconductor players to sign on the dotted line include:

  • Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (AMCC) (Nasdaq: AMCC - message board)
  • Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM - message board)
  • BroadLight Inc.
  • Conexant Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CNXT - message board)
  • Freescale Semiconductor Inc. (NYSE: FSL - message board)
  • Infineon Technologies AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: IFX - message board)
  • Kawasaki Microelectronics Inc.
  • Maxim Integrated Products Inc. (Nasdaq: MXIM - message board)
  • PMC-Sierra Inc. (Nasdaq: PMCS - message board)
  • STMicroelectronics NV (NYSE: STM - message board)
  • Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TXN - message board)

MoCA, which has 52 members overall, is closing in on 2 million chipsets shipped, according to an organization spokesman.