Intersil, ViXs in Deal for 802.11 Video

By Eric Griffith

June 30, 2003

The two chip makers, one heavy on the Wi-Fi and the other big in video transmission over wireless, are teaming to make better technology for just that very purpose.

While standardized video over wireless IP might be a few months away, that's not stopping the hardware vendors from getting behind 802.11-based multimedia transmission in a big way. Toronto-based ViXs Systems is now in a technology integration and co-marketing deal with Intersil of Milpitas, Calif., in a push to make video over wireless a reality in the market sooner rather than later.

"We want to combine our technology with leaders in the 802.11 space," says Sally Daub, CEO of ViXS. To that end, ViXs will be combining its Matrix chipsets with the RF front-end of Intersil's PRISM Indigo 5 GHz chips that run 802.11a-based networks. Matrix is a MAC/PHY baseband processor with two 11a channels used for pushing video and audio on a wireless network. This solution has already been on public display, as far back as the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

The companies are also collaborating a software development kit using ViXs's XCode integrated circuit (IC), which can automatically adjust full-motion video format, bit-rate and resolution, with Intersil's PRISM GT chipset for 802.11g networks (11g runs under the 2.4GHz radio band). The goal is to help vendors using the silicon to bring video enabled 11g products to market much faster.

The PRISM GT incorporates a frame-bursting based speed boost that Intersil has dubbed PRISM Nitro. It's based in part on technology being created for the 802.11e specification that will take care of handing Quality of Service (QoS) issues for video on wireless networks, ensuring video and voice traffic receives priority over data which can be repeated.

ViXs says the deal with Intersil is not exclusive, but considers the chipmaker a "valued partner."

"We'd look at partners outside of the 802.11 space," says Daub, "we just want video over IP networks, period." She says, however, that 802.11 is the first and foremost in terms of the capabilities, range, and proliferation needed for wireless video distribution to work.



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