Chipmakers Hope Widgets Bring the Web to TV
Stacey Higginbotham | Monday, February 23, 2009 | 5:30 PM PT | 6 comments
Broadcom said today that it would make sure content from Chumby, a nascent (發生中的) widget syndication (企業組織化) effort for televisions, would run on its chips. It’s one of a handful of integration deals Broadcom has inked with software vendors to port their content to its chips. As broadband reaches more devices,
deals between chipmakers and software vendors like these are becoming
For anyone who recalls the Chumby as a countertop (櫃檯上) device for accessing
widgets, you’re thinking of the right company. It’s merely joining a
growing pack of those looking expand its efforts beyond hardware to become
a platform. In January it signed a similar integration deal with Marvell to
get its widget platform onto digital picture frames.
Such heightened (提高的) integration efforts are a natural outgrowth (成果) of adding broadband to phones, TVs, set-top boxes or even picture frames, because
when you add broadband, you add the Internet. And as the mobile world has
shown, no one wants a bastardized (非純種的) version of a “mobile web” or a “TV web;” they want the real deal. So that means the chips powering these devices
need to be smarter, and have the right software to deliver a web-like
experience on a screen that doesn’t belong to the PC.
Other examples on the TV side include Intel teaming up with Yahoo to
deliver Yahoo’s television widget platform on the chip giant’s
semiconductors for set-top boxes. Sigma Designs, a competitor in the
digital television space, also has a deal to port Flash Lite properly to
its chips. Broadcom does, too.
With that in mind, Broadcom’s decision to add Chumby is a nice way for the
platform to gain traction (附著) in TVs or in set-top boxes, because it won’t have
to go to each television maker to get integrated into the device (though
notably the TV makers can disable the Chumby integration on their Broadcom
chips if they feel like it).
Shriraj Gaglani, a senior director of business development for Broadcom,
also thinks Chumby will get consumers psyched (抓狂? 哈!) about accessing the web through their TVs. He likens (比方) the Chumby platform to a cell phone’s
application store and says, “What we’ve felt we lacked in the ecosystem (生態系統) is the critical mass of apps and services that can leverage broadband
I’m not sure if an App Store-like option will make the difference given
that most consumers in the U.S. get their TV programming and set-top boxes
from a cable provider that may disable such functionality. Broadcom has
integrated other platforms on its DTV and set-top box chips but cannot
disclose them. When I asked if Broadcom was integrating any platforms built
by MSOs (Multi-System Operator?) or carriers into its chips, Gaglani declined to discuss it.
Aside from making a bet on delivering the web to televisions, this deal
underlies the prominence (聲望) of Adobe’s Flash platform for viewing video
online. When asked if Broadcom has any integration deals with Microsoft’s
Silverlight platform (a competitor to Flash), Gaglani said, “We don’t have
anything to announce on that.”
有個小疑問? 如果把 web 應用搬上 IC 平台是這麼吸引人, 那麼為何不 porting Windows Mobile 當 OS 呢? 這樣很多應用程式不是不用寫了嗎? 即使是 LInux 平台, 用 Moonlight (Silverlight 姊妹品) 好像也可以做到類似的效果啊? 不過那些什麼 “光" 都工具而已, 沒有類似 Flash 的專屬遊戲或是動畫, 相容性就差了.