Intel loses out in set-top box deal

Intel loses out in set-top box deal
Tom Foremski
Intel has lost another large embedded systems design with General Instrument (GI) selecting Motorola, Quantum Effect Design (QED) and Broadcom to supply chips for as many as 15 million digital set top TV boxes.
Motorola will supply GI with its 68331 microprocessor, and QED will supply its MIPS RM5230 microprocessors for its high-end set top TV boxes. Broadcom will supply chips that will integrate communications functions such as cable modems.
The GI set top boxes will allow companies to deliver a wide range of digital services such as video-on-demand, Internet access, and other interactive services.
Intel has been pushing its i960 and low end versions of its Pentium and Pentium II products for embedded applications but can’t compete on price. Sources close to the deal with GI say it will pay as little as $10 each for microprocessors from Motorola and QED. However, Intel may have a better chance at winning high volume embedded systems deals once it begins production of Digital Equipment’s StrongARM microprocessor.


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