SAN JOSE, Calif. Startup Amimon Inc. will demonstrate at the Consumer Electronics Show a prototype of its wireless high definition interface for HDTV video, using technology based on a variation of 802.11n that can deliver up to 1.5 Gbits/second.
The company believes it approach will be a lower cost and higher reliability alternative for delivering high definition video wirelessly within a room, typically between a video source and a flat-panel display. It competes with companies pursuing similar applications using ultrawideband, 60GHz radios and proprietary technologies.
Amimon expects to have separate transmitter and receiver baseband chips available "in a couple months," and companion RF chips available "a little while after that," said Noam Geri, vice president of marketing and business development for Amimon. The full four chip set should be ready for production before the end of 2007.
As much as 80 percent of the Amimon approach is based on core 802.11n technologies—a 5GHz radio with OFDM modulation and a 4x5 MIMO antenna arrangement. Thus, although the chips will carry a 50-100 percent premium over 802.11n chip sets initially, within two or three years costs could come down to the level of mainstream Wi-Fi chip sets, Geri said.
A pair of baseband and RF chips will consume less than 5W initially and probably cost less than $50, he estimated.
Using a 20 MHz channel, the technology can deliver 1.5 Gbits/s, enough for handling HDTV resolutions up to 1080 interlaced. In markets such as the US that permit channel bonding to create a 40 MHz channel, the technology can deliver 3 Gbits/s for HDTV resolutions of 1080 progressive scan.
Initial products will likely be standalone boxes or dongles that plug into the HDMI wired outlets on a display and a video source then convert and send uncompressed wireless video at 5GHz. The company uses a 256-bit AES encryption to protect the uncompressed video, which Amimon claims fulfills the content protection requirements of the wired HDMI standard.
"Once we get our technology in the market we will put together an interested group of companies to make a standard. We also will seek approval from Hollywood for our content protection," said Geri.
Amimon uses an approach it calls joint source-channel coding to squeeze faster data rates out of 802.11n technologies which typically deliver 100-500 Mbits/s.
Startup SiBeam is trying to pursue similar applications using 60 GHz radios, and is also expected to have silicon available in late 2007. It has create an alliance pursuing its technology as a de facto standard under the name Wireless HD.
UWB companies such as TZero and others are sampling silicon now, though typically at data rates of 1Gbit/s or less, assuming some compression of high def video. TZero is part of an alliance pursuing so-called Wireless HDMI.
Another company pursing this space is RadioSpire Networks whose chips operate in the 3.1-4.8GHz range to avoid interference with 802.11.