Intel pours VC cash into Digital Home

Look mum, no wires


Intel's venture investment arm, Intel Capital, has made four investments in companies developing technologies for the digital home, including two firms involved with ultra-wide band (UWB). Terms were undisclosed

Ultra-wide band is like Bluetooth on steroids. The wireless technology can transmit digital data over a wide spectrum of frequency bands with very low power. A digital video recorder could, for instance, wirelessly send digital content from a digital TV. "All wires in the room, except for the power cord, should be eliminated," Intel CTO Patrick Gelsinger told reporters at the Intel Developer Forum in Barcelona this week. "However, when you do that you can't rely on existing technologies such as Wi-Fi. It would take all my Wi-Fi bandwidth just to do an uncompressed data stream."

Last year, Intel ditched plans to introduce competing standards for ultra wideband and opted instead to merge their ideas into a single proposal to the Institution of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). It is now working on products and chipsets. Gelsinger expects the first applications to be on the market next year.

The two UWB investments are Staccato Communications and Wisair. Staccato is a fabless semiconductor company in San Diego, developing the first UWB silicon in all-CMOS to enable low-cost, high data rate wireless connectivity for emerging wireless USB and wireless 1394 applications.

Wisair, based in Tel Aviv, develops solutions based on UWB technology for high performance wireless communication. The company has a chipset that enables the implementation of low cost, low power and high bit-rate communications modules and system solutions for the fast-emerging home and office connectivity market. The company recently announced its first multiband OFDM-compliant UWB radio frequency transceiver chip.

Intel Capital has also pumped money into Digital 5, a consumer electronics networking firm, and Trymedia Systems, a secure distribution technology and services provider. All investments were made through the firm's $200m Digital Home Fund. ®

Related stories

Future rosy for UltraWideBand
UWB group dumps IEEE to speed wireless USB, 1394
UWB standard delay likely for a year (or more)
Intel vs Motorola - This time over ultra-wide band wireless


Other stories you might like

  • Uncle Sam to clip wings of Pegasus-like spyware – sorry, 'intrusion software' – with proposed export controls

    Surveillance tech faces trade limits as America syncs policy with treaty obligations

    More than six years after proposing export restrictions on "intrusion software," the US Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) has formulated a rule that it believes balances the latitude required to investigate cyber threats with the need to limit dangerous code.

    The BIS on Wednesday announced an interim final rule that defines when an export license will be required to distribute what is basically commercial spyware, in order to align US policy with the 1996 Wassenaar Arrangement, an international arms control regime.

    The rule [PDF] – which spans 65 pages – aims to prevent the distribution of surveillance tools, like NSO Group's Pegasus, to countries subject to arms controls, like China and Russia, while allowing legitimate security research and transactions to continue. Made available for public comment over the next 45 days, the rule is scheduled to be finalized in 90 days.

    Continue reading
  • Global IT spending to hit $4.5 trillion in 2022, says Gartner

    The future's bright, and expensive

    Corporate technology soothsayer Gartner is forecasting worldwide IT spending will hit $4.5tr in 2022, up 5.5 per cent from 2021.

    The strongest growth is set to come from enterprise software, which the analyst firm expects to increase by 11.5 per cent in 2022 to reach a global spending level of £670bn. Growth has fallen slightly, though. In 2021 it was 13.6 per cent for this market segment. The increase was driven by infrastructure software spending, which outpaced application software spending.

    The largest chunk of IT spending is set to remain communication services, which will reach £1.48tr next year, after modest growth of 2.1 per cent. The next largest category is IT services, which is set to grow by 8.9 per cent to reach $1.29tr over the next year, according to the analysts.

    Continue reading
  • Memory maker Micron moots $150bn mega manufacturing moneybag

    AI and 5G to fuel demand for new plants and R&D

    Chip giant Micron has announced a $150bn global investment plan designed to support manufacturing and research over the next decade.

    The memory maker said it would include expansion of its fabrication facilities to help meet demand.

    As well as chip shortages due to COVID-19 disruption, the $21bn-revenue company said it wanted to take advantage of the fact memory and storage accounts for around 30 per cent of the global semiconductor industry today.

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021