Intel Focuses on Tablets, Winds Down Digital Home Groupby Anand Lal Shimpi on October 10, 2011 11:20 PM EST
Intel's Digital Home Group (DHG) is responsible for the consumer electronics versions of the Atom SoC family. Last year we saw the launch of the Boxee Box and Google TV, both based on the Intel DHG's CE4100 Atom SoC. At the time Intel had grand plans for the Atom CE line, however today things have changed.
The DHG as we knew it is no more. Intel will continue to focus on CE applications of its SoCs however it will focus exclusively on the IP set-top media processor and gateway/cable businesses. Intel's information is somewhat vague but it's my understanding that the Digital TV processor business is what's being axed, and this is the group that ultimately sold into Boxee/Google TV.
The engineers working in the DHG have since been folded up into the newly formed tablet organization under Doug Davis. The folks working on the Atom CE parts arguably had even more mindshare penetration than those working on the smartphone/tablet Atom SoCs, so the move can only be a good one as the two groups will be able to combine expertise and experience.
This move could also be a sign of things to come. Intel sees synergy between the tablet and the TV. Perhaps Intel sees the future of Boxee Box/Google TV offerings as being driven by a tablet rather than a stationary set-top box? It seems odd at first glance for sure, since there's obviously a benefit to having something permanent outside of your TV. But if you've already got a cable box, maybe a tablet is a better way to extend its functionality rather than adding another box to the stack.