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Amimon brings WHDI to notebook PCs

Posted: 20 Nov 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Wi-Fi? HDTV? WHDI technology? interface?

You are a struggling wireless video startup, five years in and your biggest brand-name customer, a Japanese TV maker, just designed you out of their latest model. The market still doesn't fully appreciate the fundamental strength of your technology: the ability to wirelessly deliver "uncompressed" HDTV signals through walls into multiple rooms at home.

What next?

The answer for Amimon, a developer of Wireless High-definition Interface (WHDI) technology running at 5GHz frequency, is a strategic change in product focus (from living-room TV to PCs) and in its business model (licensing out its crown jewel video-modem technology as IP to a leading Wi-Fi chip company). The company will continue to pursue its multiple-room wireless HD home-networking scheme.

Just to be clear, Amimon hasn't signed up any Wi-Fi chip vendor for IP licensingjust yet. But EE Times has learned that discussions are in progress. Amimon's idea is to pave the road for a day when WHDI comes free to OEMs when they buy Wi-Fi chips. Amimon can only pull this off by soliciting the help of Wi-Fi chip companies who already know how to reduce the cost of 5GHz wireless communication chips.

Noam Geri, Amimon's co-founder, VP of marketing and business development, made it clear: "We are not turning ourselves into an IP company." But he quickly added, "We are, however, willing to give up certain markets to make this happen."

Promoting WHDI in the home market has been an uphill battle for Amimonand anyone who supports WHDIbecause hardly any TVs or PCs today come equipped with WHDI transmitters or receivers.

Thus, the marriage of Wi-Fi and WHDI holds promise for solutions to this classic chicken-and-egg problem. Amimon's Geri pointed out: "100 million PCs today have Wi-Fi in all of them. Both Wi-Fi and WHDI run on a 5GHz frequency, using OFDM and MIMO. 80 percent of our wireless solutions share common building blocks," said Geri.

Industry analysts also think Amimon's new strategy makes sense.

Craig Mathias, principal of Farpoint Group said, "I've always thought of Amimon as a video technology company that just happened to build one possible implementation of their technology. The concept really is radio- (and, in fact, channel-) independent." Mathias added, "It's an amazing bandwidth-reduction approach that yields truly fabulous results."

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