Intel, trying to find an avenue into the consumer television market, has signed an OpenCable Platform Agreement, with the intention of integrating support for the OpenCable Platform in future system-on-a-chip (SoC) products, according to CableLabs. Comcast has committed to build at least one set-top box based on Intel’s SOC.
Intel expects to sell the SoCs for incorporation in digital televisions, set-top boxes, digital media recorders and other networked consumer electronics devices which, with OpenCable integrated, will be able to run standard applications and services delivered by cable operators, as well as by consumer electronics companies, program networks, and other software developers.
“Comcast is committed to working with Intel to bring one or more Intel SoC-based digital set-top boxes (DSTBs) to market in the next two years,” said Tony Werner, Comcast executive vice president and CTO.
“The OpenCable Platform is Comcast’s software base for the future,” he added. “Comcast is looking forward to Intel’s support of the OpenCable Platform through upcoming products and the inherent advantage that the design technique brings to quickly integrate cable and Internet content into a single device.”
Future Intel platforms will include OpenCable Platform technologies certified by CableLabs for interactive applications. Interactive digital cable-ready products can access interactive program guides delivered by cable operators, as well as premium services ordered on-screen, such as video-on-demand (VOD). The devices will also include support for the CableCARD removable security module.
In April, Intel said it planned to deliver Intel Architecture (IA) SoC products for a new generation of Internet-compatible consumer electronics devices. By incorporating many features and standards into Intel’s silicon products, these SoCs will help manufacturers accelerate product delivery and deliver more cost-effective designs that provide strong processing performance and flexibility. Intel's first CE-optimized IA-based SoC is scheduled for 2008, pairing a powerful IA processor with leading-edge A/V processing, graphics and more to help deliver greater performing, Internet-compatible devices.