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MediaTek aims at cross-device sharing

Posted: 06 Apr 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:CrossMount? Internet of Things? wireless? MediaTek?

MediaTek seeks to develop a wireless standard to link all smart devices in the home through a partnership with Lenovo, TCL and Sichuan Changhong Electric Co. It also hints at offering the wireless technology as an open-source API to third-party developers.

The Taiwan-based company, whose chips each year go into about 400 million smartphones, 100 million smart TVs and 50 million tablets, sees an opportunity to use its earlier announced CrossMount technology, to unify the components of consumer devices in ways the company has only started to imagine.

At MediaTek's headquarters in Taiwan's Hsinchu Science Park, the company demonstrates a few examples to tease the imagination. A smartphone controlling the large display of a TV. A TV mounting a smartphone camera, making it a remote baby monitor. A TV turning a smartphone touch panel into a remote control for the TV. A smart television mounting the microphone of a smartphone to enable a voice search on the Internet for images of Lady Gaga.

MediaTek headquarters

MediaTek's Taiwan headquarters

"The most unique aspect of CrossMount is the ability to use components in other devices," said Harrison Hsieh, chief operation officer of MediaTek's Home Entertainment business unit. "Nobody has ever done that before."

Partnerships and debut

MediaTek has scheduled the commercial rollout of the technology this year around October 1, on China's National Day, when a number of PRC tech companies traditionally launch new products.

CrossMount will be inside smart TVs and smartphones from Chinese brands including Lenovo, TCL and Sichuan Changhong Electric Co. The new technology will also debut in all of China's second-tier smartphones around the same time, according to Hsieh.

"We want to light a fire," Hsieh said. "When it becomes bigger, we will promote it to other global customers. We've already started talking to some of our Japanese and South Korean customers."

Harrison Hsieh

Harrison Hsieh, COO for MediaTek home entertainment division

While Hsieh declined to name the Japanese and South Korean companies he's been talking to, MediaTek's existing client list includes many of the major brands in those nations.

To promote CrossMount as a standard, MediaTek will provide turnkey solutions to customers starting this year. The company will also work with third-party developers and will hold a contest for Lenovo customers, encouraging them to provide their best ideas for innovative uses of CrossMount.

"Few companies in Asia want to create standards, but we want to try," Hsieh said.

CrossMount as an open-source API?

MediaTek is still discussing whether to offer CrossMount as an open-source technology. The company is providing software development kits as part of its reference designs for customers.

The company is aiming for alliances with other businesses to gain wider adoption of the technology.

"If Qualcomm wants to use this standard, why not?" said Hsieh, invoking the name of its largest semiconductor rival in the smartphone business. "Or Broadcom."

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