Samueli: Yes. You need to upgrade your connectivity to HDMI 2.0.
The spec designed to handle the higher frame rates is already done and
available. You will see HDMI 2.0-compliant chips available within a
year. I see these as startup issues that will get sorted out over time.
EE Times: What’s the second hottest thing you saw at the show?
Samueli: Gigabit wireless . . . [pauses] although this is more about us at Broadcom.
EE Times: Why is that important?
With 5G [Wi-Fi 802.11ac operating on the 5-GHz band], wireless media
sharing and the whole home video distribution have finally become a
For the first time, I think that carriers – cable
operators and DSL guys – are convinced that they can deliver reliable
HDTV programming throughout the home. Carrier-grade video content comes
to media gateway, distributed to set tops, notebook computers and
Further, with the Miracast protocol [peer-to-peer
wireless screencast standard created by the Wi-Fi Alliance] in place,
people can also wirelessly display what they see on their handheld [tablet or smartphone] on their big-screen TV.
EE Times: Do you think that the second-screen scenario you just described may take away the significance of smart TV?
Samueli: Exactly. Why spend a lot of money on TV, when the technology in your hand keeps upgrading more often?
Samsung has shown a plan for “user-upgradable smart TV.” Their idea is
to attach the “Evolution Kit” device to the back of a Samsung smart
Samueli: Well ... it’s not so simple. Look at
the evolution from iPhone 1 to iPhone 5. The upgrade is not just in
software, but substantial changes are also made in new hardware. I think
TV is a wrong platform for constant upgrades.
EE Times: What’s your third pick among the hottest trends at CES?
Proliferation of Wi-Fi in everything. We are finding literally
hundreds of gadgets on the show floor with Wi-Fi in them. They range
from home appliances to thermostats to alarm clocks. I just saw a Wi-Fi
connected talking alarm clock developed by a startup called ivee [that responds to voice commands to tell time, date, temperature].
EE Times: Beyond Wi-Fi in everything, how do you see the Internet of Things (IoT) taking off?
There are two types of IoT. One is those plugged into the wall, like
washing machines and refrigerators. Another is based on sensors running
on very low power, enabled by something like Bluetooth low energy. Standards
are already here, but I think this will be a gradual process. We need
really low cost, and really low power devices communicating among
themselves to enable IoT.
EE Times: How far are you
at Broadcom in terms of developing ultra low cost and ultra low power
devices? Are you acquiring companies to enable this?
Samueli: No. This is based on our internal R&D.
EE Times: How low power does a device have to be?
year of battery life. There are a lot of things we can do [to bring
down the power] by creating a deep sleep mode or making a device shut
EE Times: Voice recognition seems to have gained substantial momentum at this year’s CES.
Yes. It’s gotten to the point that people are feeling comfortable with
it, I think. Siri may not understand what you are saying but it can
transcribe your commands. Voice will be important as a user
interface. Navigating a TV guide, you may just want to talk to your TV
or set top, for example, “Which NFL games are on today?” Remotes will
EE Times: Any other near term trends?
I’d add connected car. The car is becoming a mobile living room. There
will be LTE and Wi-Fi within a car to download data, music and video.