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Amino debuts Intel Atom-based hybrid gateway

Mon, 01/09/2012 - 3:04pm
Brian Santo

Amino's Freedom LiveAmino is set to introduce a hybrid media gateway based on Intel's 32nm Atom chip for consumer electronics at CES 2012 in Las Vegas this week.

Now that computing, communications and consumer electronics are indeed converging, a key question remains open: In that triangle of interests, where will be the point of convergence?

There might, of course, be multiple points of convergence, but if one of them ends up closer to the computing corner, Intel stands to benefit.

Intel's Atom chip might be best known for having been designed into several of the first instantiations of Google TV. That first generation of Google TV failed to catch on, however. Logitech famously shut down its attempts to commercialize the technology.

Google remains committed, however, and just last week said it would trade in the Atom for an ARM-based chip from Marvell in next-generation Google TV devices.

Meanwhile, several computer companies, including Lenovo, have picked up the Atom processor for a variety of laptops and netbooks. Furthermore, it is a common expectation that the Atom may start showing up in some smartphones.

There are clear cost benefits to leveraging a commonly used technology, and Amino is betting that Atom will be one of those. Its Freedom Live media gateway will combine dual-core processing power with a range of new transcoding and encoding capabilities with multi-screen distribution.

In addition to getting linear and OTT video to TVs, smartphones and tablets, the new gateway will be capable of delivering HD video calling via the TV set. A USB3 high-speed data port will allow users to plug in HD webcams.

A dual Ethernet switch will enable other devices – including existing pay-TV set-top boxes – to connect to the Internet.

WebGL (Web-based graphics library) functionality will allow the creation of 3-D applications, user interfaces and electronic program guides, in addition to supporting online gaming.

Amino CEO Donald McGarva said: "From our experience of working with operators on OTT deployments, we have learnt a great deal in terms of operator and customer preferences. This new generation of Amino Freedom devices combines all this feedback into a powerful hub for all a home's entertainment needs."

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