Runners and riders set for HD Video over WiFi race
The fight for wireless video in the home has had many contenders, but always WiFi has staked the claim that its reach is ubiquitous and that new syste
Published: 10 March, 2011
You could take the Quantenna MIMO design, put it into a Celeno chip and still use the Airties firmware or put it in an Airties box. Obviously that’s not going to happen, but you can see that these players all cite HD video over WiFi as the value add, and rely on the same technical understanding, but they don’t address it in the same way. Celeno does it at the specialist chip level, Quantenna at the generalized WiFi level and Airties at the device provisioning and support level.
Quantenna and Celeno can co-exist with existing set top suppliers, Airties perhaps seeks to replace them. Even when Celeno found favor at Liberty Global it had to have an Intel chip and a Samsung device to pull it all together, as well as NDS UI software.
Celeno told us this week that it has now shipped 100,000 chips in 2010 and claims deals with over 50 service providers. It says that it has a deal with one of Europe’s largest Telcos as well, but this deal has not yet been announced – Our guess is one of the major French IPTV players, perhaps Orange, but we’ll find out in a few weeks. We know Celeno has development arrangements with Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom and Orange, so it might be any one of those.
But it also says that there is an undercurrent of RFP’s throughout Europe, reflecting all those planned OTT service launches and it claims to have landed most of these which will lead to sky high volumes in 2011, which is why it needed $12 million, not to win more business, but to pay for the chip runs.
There were early doubts that Celeno actually had a chip, because some chips were witnessed either with its ODM brand on them or because it did some demonstrations on regular MIMO chips. It now says it is shipping two chips, the CL1300 is an 802.11a SoC and there is an 802.11n version called the CL1800. This second chip is a joint venture with Ralink. Despite what Celeno said to us at IBC, that its MIMO chips can work with existing WiFi chips, this is very much the case that the CL1300 acts as an Access Point chip and uses implicit transmit beam forming and the Ralink deal provides a specialist client throughout the home. It could be that Celeno gains more than client technology from Ralink, such as extra production volume muscle with its ODM chip maker.
Already Celeno says that it will go for a third generation using the emerging 802.11ac standard. This standard, when ready at the end of 2011, should go into products in early 2012. All three of these companies will surely have a long hard look at this. 802.11ac uses 5GHz spectrum in 80MHz and 160MHz channels, and can use up to 8x8 MIMO, and modulate with 256 QAM and other techniques to deliver 867Mbp per channel, but can also multiplex multiple channels, so deliver an aggregate of 6.9Gbps across all channels. One estimate has it that 1 billion 802.11ac chips will ship annually by 2015.